Ormiston Park Academy has ‘Mental Health Champions’

Ormiston Park Academy are working closely with the Thurrock School Well-being Service to promote positive mental health across the Academy. On Tuesday 20th April The Thurrock School Well-being Service delivered a one-day workshop and training for students across all Year Groups.

The service usually delivers this training to 6-10 young people over a 6-week period, but Ormiston Park Academy wanted more and committed to supporting our young people in all aspects of their school life and want to ensure that they have the tools to tackle this increasingly important issue. Following the mental health training Ormiston Park now have two mental health champions for every class in every year group. These trained young people will act as student representatives for all things mental health related and support their peers when needed.

The whole day certificated training course, was attended by 55 pupils who all completed the required 5 modules. They will now all wear a ‘mental health champion’ badge on their school blazer, so everyone knows who they are. There will be follow up sessions on exam stress support, anxiety gremlins and self-confidence, as well as action planning to ensure a detailed and focussed plan is in place.

We are incredibly excited about the positive benefits of having a student leadership team dedicated to the emotional well-being of the whole Academy and cannot wait to see the outcomes they achieve.

Quotes from Mental Health Champions:
“I would now feel confident to support my peers if they were upset” (Year 7)

“If my friends have stuff going on at home, I’m there for them. I can talk them through it” (Year 7)

“We learned about panic attacks and what to say and what not to say. We learned that self-harm can come in many different forms. I will be looking out for changes in my peers now I have a better understanding. People may be less intimidated and more comfortable talking to people of their own age” (Year 8)

Quote from Staff Mental Health Champion – Miss Mussenden – Head of Year 8:
“Having an open dialogue about mental health and empowering young people to take ownership over their mental health was the main driver behind this initiative. Our students, collectively, were really keen to learn more about their emotions and in these uncertain times wanted to do more to promote positive health and communication amongst their peers. Our students have been a credit to themselves and the Academy taking up this huge challenge and I could not be prouder of my team of champions. Watch this space…”

Quote from Principal:
“We have been extremely fortunate to have worked with The Thurrock School Well-being Service to train a large cohort of students in understanding about mental health issues. The training team were great and our students really engaged in the programme. Ormiston Park Academy students have 55 mental health champions and that is absolutely brilliant”