Every year, we organise a range of activities in the run up to World Mental Health Day, which, this year, took place on Saturday 10th October. The goal of World Mental Health Day is to help raise awareness so that each of us can make a contribution to ensure that individuals dealing with mental health problems can live better lives with dignity.

This year has been a tough one, particularly for people living with mental illness and their carers. Research shows that nearly 80% of people living with mental illness say Covid-19 and the national response have made their mental health worse. This is why the goal of the World Mental Health Day 2020 campaign is increased investment in mental health.

Throughout the week, girls in Senior School were engaged in a number of activities, including daily mental health challenges to build resilience, PSHE sessions focusing on supporting mental and emotional health through the pandemic, and a whole school mindfulness session led by the Head Girl team. In Junior School, girls considered these issues through form time and assembly activities.

On the evening of Thursday 8th October we ran an online event for parents as well. NHSG Pastoral experts Mrs Franks-Doyle, Nurse Wilson and School Counsellor, Mrs Hassett, presented some views about the national picture of issues around young people’s mental health and wellbeing; shared our perspective as to how this manifests itself in our School and talked about what we are already doing to address this at NHSG. We also offered some tips for parents on approaching this aspect of girls’ wellbeing including coping with anxiety. Deputy Head Girls, Maya and Hafsah, gave some helpful advice about sleep tips and mindfulness. We concluded with a question and answer session to cover further parent queries, followed by a survey to find out if the session had been beneficial. It was excellent to see that parents strongly agreed with the statement ‘I feel confident in talking to my child about mental health.’

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