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Peele Community College, Long Sutton, pioneers Mental Health Week when students and staff tackle anxiety, depression and stress




Students and staff at Long Sutton's Peele Community College are championing the message of being "Healthy: Inside and Out".

This was the theme of Children's Mental Health Week which Year 11 students at took on board fully by organising five days of activities to underline the importance of being sound in mind, as well as body.

Activities included a "Try Not to Laugh Challenge, doughnut stress test, "Pie in the Face" fundraiser, bubble wrap anxiety relief exercise, face painting and, to round off the week, a Go Green for Mental Health Day on Friday.

Peele student Maisie Rose with green ribbon to mark Go Green for Mental Health Day. Photo: SG-080219-003TW
Peele student Maisie Rose with green ribbon to mark Go Green for Mental Health Day. Photo: SG-080219-003TW

Student Amelia Waldren said: "The point of the week was to raise awareness and raise donations towards bettering the situation in our community when it comes to mental health.

"To start off the week, we did a Vow of Silence to raise the issue that mental health tends to be a very silent battle.

"Then we came up with a new challenge where teachers were asked to take a GCSE challenge and avoid saying words like 'exam, test, revision' or 'pay the price'".

Peele student Maisie Rose with green ribbon to mark Go Green for Mental Health Day. Photo: SG-080219-004TW
Peele student Maisie Rose with green ribbon to mark Go Green for Mental Health Day. Photo: SG-080219-004TW

Another student Charles Ingham said: "We learned a lot about mental health issues from some surveys we had gathered so we knew who to aim our activities towards, all around relieving stress and reducing anxiety.

"There were different displays around the school, with mental health posters and letters stuck up on windows.

"Then the whole school got involved on Friday when they wore green clothes, as well as having conversations and discussing with each other what things they needed to take on board."

Charles Ingham and Amelia Waldren wear green to mark Mental Health Week at Peele Community College. Photo: SG-080219-002TW
Charles Ingham and Amelia Waldren wear green to mark Mental Health Week at Peele Community College. Photo: SG-080219-002TW

Shelby Mombourquette, GCSE Citizenship teacher at Peele, said: "Our students had to complete an action project by creating something to better their community.

"An area the students wanted to focus on was mental health in school which translates out to mental health in the community.

"The project has allowed conversations to be started and made teachers more aware of how they can support students in their classrooms."

Peele students and staff raised £870 during the week which will be shared between a mental health charity and the school to support students facing anxiety and stress issues.

Head teacher Jane Moody outside Peele Community College, Long Sutton. Photo by Tim Wilson.
Head teacher Jane Moody outside Peele Community College, Long Sutton. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Head teacher Jane Moody said: "We didn't realise how passionate the students were about mental health and now we're very keen to take this into the junior schools as well.

"We're also looking at ways of getting parents and carers involved as well because we're very keen to reach out into the community.

"I've never worked in a school which has such a positive programme of helping students and I'm so proud of what they have achieved, raising our awareness within the school of the pressures on young people who are taking their GCSEs.

"I think we will all now be more mindful of mental health for students and for staff and I'm hoping we can be a bit of a flagship for other schools in the area."



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