Students and Staff Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week

All Years Whole School

From board games to yoga, Wycombe High enjoyed a day of activities to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

On the Friday, there were a total of five mental health related activities to choose from, all which were extremely well received.  The first one was Mr Walpole’s board games in C208. Students from all year groups showed up, and played Scrabble, Chess and Speak Out (a hilarious game involving dental mouthpieces).  I asked Mr Walpole about what he thought on Mental Health Awareness.  He said: “People treat mental health like any other illness. But there is a reason for it.  One of these reasons is powerlessness and only having a partially adult response to it.  People can’t change it.  We need to recognise mental health as a positive thing.  I am inspired by seeing young people protest for climate change, because I think it’s pro-active and important for people to get involved in things like this. I think we can all suffer from a lack of perspective.”

Mr Rushton ran a film club, playing Pirates! Band of Misfits in C313.  It was an extremely funny film; everybody relaxed and enjoyed the viewing.  The aim of watching a film is to calm any stress or anxiety that students may have; I found it interesting that it was mostly red jumpers who were partaking in this activity, as they are currently studying hard for their GCSEs.

In V001, Mrs Woodward and Mrs Ellis were running a relaxing drawing club, where students could sit and talk about anything that was bothering them, whilst colouring.  Colouring is scientifically proven to have a mindful effect on the brain, so doing this in school is the perfect way to ease tension and stress.  I asked them about what their thoughts were on mindfulness, and they said: “People say that the term ‘mental health’ is a bad thing, but it is just like bodily health.  People can go through mental illnesses at different stages of their lives, and if it isn’t looked after, it can lead to devastating consequences.  If you think you are suffering from a mental health illness you should talk to somebody you trust, don’t suffer in silence.”

In Food Tech, there was a herbal tea workshop with Mr Nevard and some sixth formers.  Again, there was an excellent turn out, with students making and drinking some soothing tea and discussing their mental health.

Finally, in the gym, Miss Snook (our mental health champion!) was running some yoga.  It looked extremely relaxing, and provided a safe space for pupils to wind down and let any troubles melt away.  I asked Miss Snook for a few words on what she thought about mental health.  She said: “Everybody has mental health, even animals, we are increasingly realising. We can try our best to look after our own health.  But moreover, we can really positively impact other people’s physical, social and mental health.”

This year’s mental health week was a triumph.

Alex Pitt, Year 9, News Crew

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