The changes which occur during adolescence can create additional risk factors for developing mental health problems* when the young person doesn’t receive the guidance and support they need.

The Well-being Programme Secondary delivers 8 weeks of weekly mentoring and coaching sessions. The sessions are tailored towards students in a secondary setting and result in:

  • Increased confidence
  • Increased self-belief
  • Stress management techniques
  • Better academic performance
  • Increased wellbeing
  • Better mental health and tools to help
  • An understanding of emotional health and emotional intelligence
  • Building relationships and support with other students in the group
  • A lighter load after offloading problems
  • Receiving adult advice and support on a range of day to day issues
  • Disclosing of problems and issues that can be communicated to the school
  • Spotting mental health issues
  • More confidence speaking in groups

Among teenagers, rates of depression
and anxiety have increased by
70% in the past 25 years.
(Mental Health Foundation, 2005.)

A safe, relaxed space is created with a focus on new ideas, new ways of communicating with yourself and understanding yourself better, discussion, group counselling, Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques, coaching techniques, stress management, emotional intelligence, mental health understanding exercises, relaxation and meditation and self-governance of the group. Students are given real tools to help build inner resilience and well-being, and are inspired to a more empowering way of thinking and acting which increases their self-belief. These tools can be used for life and the students are encouraged to use them wherever possible.

I model the very tools the young people are learning and is able to share big events from my childhood such as divorce, bereavement, lack of self-confidence and self-belief, sibling rivalry, being bullied, bullying others, exam stress, changing schools, friendships and preparing for university in an honest language which the young people can relate to; and with an awareness of how these impact emotional health, thoughts and behaviour. I am able to describe how I turned around my thinking and feeling regarding many of those events using the tools I am teaching.

In a UNICEF survey in 2007,
the UK ranked at the bottom on
children’s wellbeing compared
with North America and
18 European countries.

Some students feel they can trust me and turn to her with problems and issues that I am then able to communicate to the Safeguarding Officer or teacher, creating a trusting supportive relationship between the student and the school along the way.

I have experience working with vulnerable young people with medical issues, who are witnessing violence in the home, who have experienced abuse, who have experienced neglect, who are dealing with bereavement, who are experiencing divorce, who are being bullied, who are cared for children and those who have mental health issues. Trained as a Youth Mental Health First Aider, I’m equipped with knowledge regarding mental health issues that young people experience and is aware of signs to look out for.

10% of children and young
people aged 5 to 16 suffer
from a diagnosable
mental health disorder.
(Green, H., McGinnity A.,
Meltzer, H., et al 2005)

The results of the Well-being Programme Secondary are that the student’s inner reserves of self-confidence, self-belief and self-awareness are increased. This increased confidence and self-belief ripples through the student’s life, affecting every area positively and has a positive effect on the student’s academic performance.

Many of the students I have worked with ask their teachers for me to return – even a year after the programme is completed, – as they benefitted greatly from the sessions.

 

*Youth MHFA Manual, 2014.