I have worked as a teacher in secondary education for the
past 40 years, the last fifteen as a Head teacher. I have been fortunate enough to work with countless young people and have had the opportunity to contribute to their education and development, something I consider a real privilege. I have also witnessed an enormous development in the resources and opportunities available
to young people and the positive impact this has had on their education. However, I have also observed the great pressures the developments in technology and social platforms have exposed our
young people to. I also encounter an increasing number of students with stresses and anxieties related to examination outcomes.
These students receive support, advice and guidance in school but often need further help from trained specialists outside of the school environment.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from the 13th – 19th of May, focuses on body image and the associated mental health issues. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year in the UK, three young people in every class of thirty in the UK have a diagnosable mental health problem many of which the Mental Health Foundation believes could be prevented if we can tackle the changes that need to be made in our society relating to the use of technology, advertising and cultural values.
Creating a safe, caring, nurturing learning environment and a culture that listens to and acts upon the views and needs of students is fundamental for their mental health enabling them to maximise their learning and socialisation.
Therefore, it is of the greatest importance that specialist professional
help and support is available to our young people if and when they should need it.
It is with this in mind, that this year I have decided to face one of my own personal anxieties which is a fear of heights. To do this I will jump out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet and skydive in order to raise awareness and money for one of the UK’s leading mental health charities; Mind.
Mid and North East Essex Mind is a wonderful charity that provides support to young people and adults alike by offering private counselling, mental health training for teaching staff and urgent helpline information, to name but a few services provided.
Below are links to both the Mental Health Foundation and Mind websites which have further information on how to protect our young people from the pressures of body image dissatisfaction and the support available in our local area.
Thank you in advance.... pictures to follow!!