College Continues to Raise Awareness of Mental Health
Ivybridge Community College continues to put Mental Health at the top of its priorities. Here are some insights into the various activities that the College has been undertaking recently.
To support the raising of awareness of mental health, especially during lockdown, staff at the College created a comprehensive display, which was available to the students who were having their immunisations recently at The Watermark.
To support the delivery of this information, Wellbeing Keyworker, Kelly Atkin, talked to the students and handed out leaflets, wristbands and motivational cards. These were all well received by the students and many were very keen to talk. Creative challenges were set for students to get involved in with some great prizes available.
Virtual wellbeing enrichment activities via Teams have been running throughout the week. These have included opportunities such as, learning how to do origami through to learning card tricks, led by Karren Stowe, a teacher of Mathematics at the College.
The College also had a special CPSHE session looking at wellbeing where mental health myths were dispelled and students were introduced to the 'iheart' programme. This programme aims to improve understanding of our innate wellbeing and the iheart message is one that will be developed further over the coming months.
In addition to this, students watched an assembly aimed at finding the underlying cause of why we sometimes say that ‘we are fine’ when in fact we are not. Students were given tips on how to have meaningful conversations with friends and family to try to elicit responses that are more authentic. ‘Time to Talk Day’ was on Thursday, 4 February and all were encouraged to try these new listening skills. Furthermore, the Wellbeing Ambassadors met virtually and shared their ideas about wellbeing and exchanged top tips. This was especially valuable as it was peer-to-peer support on wellbeing. The trained ambassadors are always very keen to listen to others and it was a nice opportunity for them to be able to catch up.
The College also understands and supports the importance of staff wellbeing. A 'Time to Talk' session, led by Helen Ryder, the College’s Wellbeing Lead, supported staff and reminded them of simple, yet effective ways to look after their own wellbeing, not an easy task in the midst of a pandemic. Top tips and experiences were shared and positively received by all involved.
Wellbeing is about much more than a 'wellbeing week’ and we are taking this opportunity to launch the ‘Big Devon Challenge for March’. Walking is the simplest and easiest way to fit more activity into our everyday routines and improve our mental health. We are setting the challenge of which Tutor Group can walk the furthest in March, and we promise some great prizes for the winners.
Caroline Johnson, Associate Leader, said, “We want the wellbeing of our students to be at the heart of everything we do so it has been fantastic to see wellbeing and mental health at the forefront of our conversations over the last few weeks. I am looking forward to seeing where the iheart programme will take us all. It is important for all students to know that if they ever want someone to talk to that their tutors, teachers and pastoral leaders are always around to listen”.