One of the areas that School Officers have been focusing on this year is mental health. We recognise how important this is, particularly for young people who will inevitably encounter many stresses throughout their education. Our aim has been to make sure every student in the school knows what help is available to them, both in school and elsewhere.

As such, we have created some 'Mental Health Help Cards'. These have been given to all students in all year groups today.

We thought we'd share the background of this initiative:

  1. What we mean by mental health and the importance of it - It is perfectly normal to have ups and downs in your mood. Sometimes you may feel stressed or anxious and other times you may feel positive and confident. However, if these negative or stressful thoughts happen all the time or they begin to have a significant effect on your daily life, this may be diagnosed as a mental health illness. Some common mental health illnesses include anxiety, depression and eating disorders. A mental health issue is something that can affect anyone, no matter how old. Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. Mental health illnesses are more common than you may think, but help is available.
  2. Mental health illness is not something to be ashamed of - 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues at some point in their life.
  3. Why the card has been given to students - The purpose of this card is to ensure all students have access to available support should they require it. It is our hope that the vast majority of students will not need to use it.
  4. What they should do with the card - Keep the card in their purse or wallet, so the information is there should it ever be needed.

We sincerely hope that giving these cards to all students will allow those struggling with mental health to receive the help that they need.

We are also very grateful for the support and encouragement Wallingford Town Council have given to this project - thank you!

All the best,

Helena & Sean (on behalf of the School Officers 2016-2017)