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Hugh Baird College helps break mental health stigma in local high schools


During Mental Health Awareness Week, Hugh Baird College’s Student Services team took part in an initiative to help break the stigma around mental health by working with local High School students in year 11 and year 13 across the city.

1 in 4 students in years 11 to 13 experience mental health issues each year, with half of the issues starting by the age of 15, meaning these age groups are the most vulnerable when it comes to mental health. Our aim, as a College, is to help reduce this by breaking the stigma and promoting positive mental health and coping techniques.

The Student Services team at Hugh Baird College worked with Deyes High School, Harmonize Academy and St Chads Catholic & Church of England High School, delivering one hour sessions discussing topics such as anxiety and depression, myth busting and opening up the conversation between peers about what mental health is and what can affect their mental wellbeing. The team also looked into techniques on how to cope with stress and how to develop a tool box of coping techniques and strategies to help them and those around them through trying times.

Louise Noon, Hugh Baird College Student Services Manager, said:

At Hugh Baird College we have a duty of care to support not only current students but prospective students too. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are so common within young people. By promoting self-awareness and self-care, we believe this can really help students facing these mental health issues.

During the sessions, we shared external services and smartphone apps available that support young people before they reach crisis point. We also identified key people within the student’s family and friends, who they could talk to such as a parent or carer, their Tutor or their GP.

We had a great response from the young people we engaged with and we are confident the tools we shared with them will help them to manage their emotional wellbeing and grow their resilience.

In addition to the College’s in-house support, based in the new St Winefride's Campus is Mersey Care’s innovative Life Rooms. Life Rooms - Bootle offers a range of community, social and learning programmes and services to support positive mental health and wellbeing. Additionally, it provides safe spaces and welcoming environments, with access to community resources. The Life Rooms offers real practical support for those wanting to take the next steps in their life journey, whatever those steps may be. The Life Rooms will play a key role in supporting Hugh Baird College in strengthening the resilience and wellbeing of its student community as well as offering its full range of mental health support to the residents of South Sefton.

For more information on the support available at Hugh Baird College, please visit: www.hughbaird.ac.uk/student-support or alternatively call 0151 353 4444.

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