Wigan primary school's new mental health champions

Pupils at a Wigan primary school are taking care of their peers and ensuring their wellbeing after being made mental health ambassadors.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 9:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 10:19 am
The mental health champions with staff at St Wilfrid's CE Primary Academy

The five youngsters in year five at St Wilfrid’s CE Primary Academy in Standish have been made mental health champions and are helping their schoolmates deal with any problems they experience.

The school has been in the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy School pilot for the past two years, with senior leaders and staff receiving mental health first aid and children working with an athlete mentor from the Youth Sport Trust.

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Now the work is being taken to the next stage with the group of champions being trained to support their peers and share positive mental health strategies in the classroom and playground.

Mental health is rarely out of the news and the school says it is vital to ensure this is taken care of in school.

Headteacher Stuart Colothan said: “We feel that it is important to have mental health champions in school and address mental health within the curriculum to raise awareness around positive mental health for all children and provide children with a range of strategies to deal with their emotions.

“They are really enjoying this opportunity and looking forward to undertaking more activities in school.

“We continue, as a school, to support the social and emotional needs of all children, though our well-planned curriculum and working with a range of professionals.”

The school is supported in its efforts to ensure wellbeing is at the top of the agenda by Place 2 Be and the Alliance for Learning.

Speaking about their role, the children maturely described how privileged they feel to be able to help their fellow pupils.

Yvie Causey, 10, said: “Being a Mental Health Champion makes me feel proud and trusted. My role helps me to bring children together to build relationships.

“The training has given me strategies to help other children feel happy and safe.”

Yvie’s family have also spoken of their pride at her new role.

Mum Suzanne Causey said: “Yvie is a fantastic young girl and a brilliant sister. We couldn’t be more proud of her.

“She’s just got a very caring nature. She’s naturally a care giver. If anyone is upset or feeling down they will gravitate towards Yvie.”