A brother-sister duo is inviting borough primary schools to learn more about mental health with an innovative new awareness campaign.
Healthy Mind UK, a mental health and wellbeing organisation, has revealed plans to bring its Be You project to Wigan as part of its ever-growing campaign to teach youngsters about the importance of looking after one’s mind.
Its founders, Andy Cameron and sister Kerry Barr, a teacher and creative designer respectively, have combined their individual expertise into an interactive experience which teaches primary school children about the different parts of the brain, what they are used for and how each one affects mental health.
After a successful launch in their hometown of Bolton last September, the team are looking to expand their sessions across Greater Manchester, and has reached out to all Wigan schools to invite them to take up a session.
Andy, 31, said he co-founded Healthy Mind UK after noticing a lot of children growing up with mental health issues.
“We looked at what was being done in terms of intervention,” he said.
“We realised that they weren’t being given the tools to combat mental health issues, because it’s a tough subject to teach them about.
“I’ve been teaching for about 12 years, and have worked with a lot of kids with mental health issues. Every time I was dealing with a child, I was thinking about what could be done to help. I found a lot of things were reactive, not proactive, and wasn’t giving them the knowledge to deal with it before it became a bigger problem.”
This led Andy and Kerry to get their thinking caps on and figure out a unique way to teach young people about such a complex subject.
The end result is a three-part course, delivered to children at their schools, and involving a giant inflatable brain which can be explored both inside and out.
“We wanted something to be fun and engaging, and to make it normal for them to start thinking about their own mental health,” said Andy.
“We wanted the wow factor, and something exciting. The idea is for kids to go inside and learn about the brain in a way that will stick in their mind and have a much more long-lasting impact.”
He added: “We are encouraging all primary schools to get in touch with us. It’s imperative that we speak to all children, not just those who have been diagnosed with mental health issues already.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit healthyminduk.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org