Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness in schools

Did you know that:

  • 1 in 8 boys and 1 in 10 girls between the ages of 11 and 15 has a mental health disorder?
  • Around 20% of children have a mental health problem in any given year
  • Every 30 minutes a teenager deliberately cuts, burns or scalds themselves
  • Stress has been shown to reduce a student’s performance from an A* grade to a B grade (grade 9 to grade 6)

These figures are disturbing and echo the concerns of the charity MindFull, which has argued that the teaching of mental health awareness is vital. They claim that “too many pupils with symptoms of depression or anxiety are let down or ignored” and that “poor mental health among young people was ‘one of the last great medical taboos in the UK today'”.

We agree. If young people understand that mental illnesses, such as depression, body anxiety or exam-related stress, are relatively common and nothing to be afraid or ashamed of, then they are more likely to recognise signs and symptoms in themselves or others and ask for support.

We regularly visit local schools, such as The Skinners School, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Girls, Bennett Memorial, The Judd School and St Gregory’s Catholic Comprehensive School, to deliver short interactive lessons within the PHSE curriculum. You can check out our secondary school mental health course outline in this leaflet.

We also provide a 4 lesson course for primary school Year 6 to help prepare them for the transition to secondary school. Each lesson/course can be tailored to suit an individual school’s circumstances. 

When asked, the children were keen to explain that the sessions had helped to relay their fears and that it was good to talk about things that were ‘in their heads’ local year 6 primary school teacher

Crossways’ Mental Health Awareness on BBC South East News

Using a mixture of discussion, basic role-play techniques and activities, the course covers preconceived ideas, the use of labels to ‘pigeon-hole’ people into particular stereotypes, good and bad listening/communication and how we can support each other.

At Crossways, we believe very strongly that the more people understand about mental health and their own preconceptions, the better equipped they are to help and support themselves and others.

This view underpins our mental health awareness (MHA) programme. We offer short courses and seminars for schools, churches and businesses. Our courses are not for professionals but for the majority of people who wish to better understand their own mental health and build better mental resilience, or know people who are struggling with mental health issues but don’t know how to help.

“I’ve done other mental health awareness courses, but the one delivered by Steve was more relevant, accessible and fun!” – participant in Mental Health Awareness training in a local church 

Please read our course outline leaflet for more information.

Why not take a look at Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ quiz below to get top tips and advice about your mental health: