Young wellbeing champions promote better mental health in schools

Students from ten primary schools on the North Yorkshire coast have got together to take part in a project for emotional wellbeing.

Cllr Sanderson joins pupils at the wellbeing champions training day.

The students have been trained to become Pupil Wellbeing Champions One through a project being delivered by North Yorkshire County Council’s healthy schools team in partnership with Compass Buzz, the schools mental and emotional wellbeing service. The two-year project is being funded by the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunities Area scheme.

Cllr Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “The training day was all about enabling pupils to develop the skills needed to become Wellbeing Champions and go back to their schools and share their learning with their peers.

“This will support schools that are working towards the emotional health and wellbeing theme of the North Yorkshire Healthy Schools Award as pupil involvement is a key aspect of the award process.  Staff from the primary schools have already attended some training provided by Compass Buzz to enable them to effectively implement and support the wellbeing champions in their school.”

Emma Tymon, Project Manager, Compass, said: “With one in eight children and young people aged 5 to 19 years in the UK struggling with their mental health, the event was the ideal opportunity for pupils to learn the vital skills needed to spread awareness and promote wellbeing amongst their peers.”

The Healthy Schools award scheme was launched by the County Council in October 2019, using funding from its public health grant. The online scheme supports schools to work towards improving the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff through teaching and learning initiatives that include advice on building relationships; emotional health and wellbeing; active lifestyles; and food in schools, including snacks and packed lunches.

All North Yorkshire County Council schools can sign up to the Healthy Schools award scheme at no cost for an initial two years. Private and out-of-county schools can join for an annual charge. For further information, email Ruth Stacey, Healthy Schools Programme Manager, at healthy.schools@northyorks.gov.uk or register to take part online.

This story was published 11 March 2020