SFG College: Inside out day raises awareness of mental health

Education: Secondary / Mon 28th Feb 2022 at 08:34am

CLOTHES were worn inside out by a school community as it confronted the issue of children’s mental health.

Students and teachers at Sir Frederick Gibberd College, in Harlow, took part in Inside Out Day as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.

The event raises awareness of mental health and encourages young people to talk about it.

Headteacher Dee Conlon said: “We want our children to understand that it is okay not to be okay.

“By wearing our clothes inside out, we highlight that even though we may look okay on the outside, no one can tell how we feel on the inside. So, we should always be kind to one other because we can never know what a person is going through.

“Children’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults. 

“For this reason, we have a focus on mental wellbeing and kindness at Sir Frederick Gibberd. We teach students strategies to help them to deal with stressful situations and highlight the help that is available both in and out of school.”

One Year 9 student said: “I enjoyed the mindfulness session and learnt breathing techniques, so I can calm myself down if I feel anxious.

“By raising awareness of these topics which people can be embarrassed about, we are making it okay for people to open up more and talk about it more. This is really good because it means we can help people more.”

Cheree Leverington, assistant headteacher, said: “When it comes to mental health, we need to treat it like physical health. We would never say to a child with a broken leg that they will be okay and should just walk it off. We would take them to hospital and have the leg treated.

“When children have poor mental health, they also need to receive help and support.

Teenage years can be quite tricky. Teenagers often experience emotional turmoil as their minds and bodies develop. The support they receive can make a huge difference to their wellbeing, personal development and academic achievement.”

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