Year 8 pupils at Saintfield High School this week took part in a specialist mental health and well-being programme delivered by Action Mental Health, in association with Phoenix Natural Gas.
‘Provoking Thought’ is a bespoke programme, designed to support young people in the area of mental and emotional wellbeing through a range of activities. The programme contents can be specifically tailored to suit group needs, including for different age groups such as the specific challenges faced by year 8 to year 10 pupils.
Hugh Roarty from Action Mental Health is responsible for delivering the programme; “The interactive workshops are designed to explore issues and facilitate discussion around issues of mental and emotional wellbeing and include information on a wide range of topics, from challenging stigma around mental health to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental distress. The session also teaches young people how to cope positively with stress, and provides a tangible source of support in the form of leave-behind materials.”
Throughout 2018, the programme was rolled out to five schools in the County Down area, where Phoenix Natural Gas is currently working to extend the natural gas network, including Beechlawn Special School, Hillsborough, Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch, Knockevin Special School and St Patrick’s High School in Downpatrick and Saintfield High School.
Geri Wright, Communications Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas said, “Phoenix Natural Gas has a strong corporate social responsibility programme and is actively dedicated to supporting the community which it serves. We are delighted to partner with Action Mental Health on such a pivotal initiative and help plug the gap in support for this age group. We have specially selected five schools in East Down to benefit from the programme and we’re delighted to deliver the final session to our friends at Saintfield High School ahead of the works commencing in 2019 to bring natural gas to the Saintfield area.”
Speaking after the session, Saintfield High School Principal, Sarah-Lucy Hynds said, “We were delighted to welcome Action Mental Health to our school this week to deliver this very important session. Mental health and emotional wellbeing is an area of increasing importance not only to our school, but to the wider community.
“The Provoking Thought workshops have been carefully tailored towards 11-13 years olds and cover issues identified as being pertinent for young people of this age, making for a very rewarding workshop. Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the session and took away a great deal, which will hopefully continue to be of benefit to them throughout their school years.”