Northants schools to take part in ‘Talk Out’ day to combat stigmas around mental health

A study found that more than 80 per cent of young people have experienced mental health issues

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:52 am

Schools across Northamptonshire will take part in a mental health awareness day later this week.

The Talk Out programme aims to get more children talking openly about their mental health after a survey found that 82 per cent of young people have experienced stress.

The study, which was completed by 2,000 young people, also found that 60 per cent have experienced anxiety or depression or both and 53 per cent have felt lonely.

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The mental health awareness day will hopefully help more young people talk out about their issues.

Northamptonshire Talk Out, the programme that created the study, also revealed 31 per cent of young people surveyed are not as happy as they were a year ago.

To help combat these mental health issues and break down any stigmas, the programme is hosting a county-wide event.

It is hoped that the event will give young people the chance to speak out loud about their problems, especially as 83 per cent of those surveyed would like to talk face-to-face about mental health.

Victoria Leitner, public health officer at Public Health Northamptonshire, said: “Our findings show that young people are increasingly feeling the pressure, especially at school and with friendships/relationships, and these are having a real impact on their mental health and well-being.

“We do however continue to see an upward trend in the number of people who are prepared to talk to someone about their mental health.

“Anecdotal evidence does highlight however, that there are still stigmas around mental health so we need to carry on the conversation to ensure that all young people get help and support when they need it.”

The awareness day will be launched on Thursday (February 13) at Sixfields, where secondary schools will come together to place their brick, which students will have written positive mental health messages on.

The bricks will be laid out to read: ‘Let’s all say Cobblers to mental health stigma.’ All 51 secondary schools in the county will send a brick.

All the schools will then have a day in school dedicated to mental health awareness on Friday (February 14).

They have been provided with resources to use, such as wristbands saying ‘talk out loud about mental health’ and ideas for mental health assemblies.

At midday on Friday, more than 50 primary schools will also take part in a ‘bubblethon’, where they will be encouraged to blow all their troubles away.

Ms Leitner added: “We hope that Mental Health awareness day will present schools with an opportunity to talk out loud about mental health.

“We have been really encouraged by the number of schools taking part in the day, who are truly committed to supporting young people with their mental health.”