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Tameside schools to benefit as mental health programme doubles in size

Press Release: 29/07/2019

 

A number of Tameside schools are to benefit from a ground-breaking programme to support the mental health of children and young people in schools and colleges across Greater Manchester.

 

The Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools and Colleges programme, commissioned by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, is to be doubled in size from the current 64 educational settings to a total of 125 schools, colleges and pupil referral units.

 

Tameside schools which have been already been involved in the scheme are Great Academy Ashton, Poplar Street, Rayner Stevens, Russell Scott Primary, Tameside and Hyde College and The Heys Primary School.

 

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive lead for lifelong learning, said: “This is really great news because one in eight young people has a mental health condition, which could affect their learning, their happiness and their future prospects. We know that schools and colleges are amongst the best places to help improve their situation, so we’re grateful for the extra support.

 

“This extra support will complement a lot of other work we’re doing locally in Tameside, for instance with our partners Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind regarding the whole school approach to emotional health and wellbeing, and with schools working towards the AcSeed Award.

 

“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but between schools, parents and carers and various partners we’re making definite progress.”

 

Jenny Higson, CEO of Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind, said: “We have worked with 30% of Tameside schools, including Longdendale High, Mottram C of E Primary School, Micklehurst All Saints, Millbrook Primary and Wild Bank Primary School, who have all  gone on to gain the AcSeed Award.

 

“We work with them in a variety of ways. For example with Holden Clough Primary School we worked with pupils on the student council to raise awareness, and we provided materials and resources for each year group’s ‘wellbeing wallet’. We held a ‘drop-down day’ when older children worked with younger children in sessions based around resilience and mindfulness. We worked with staff to embed emotional literacy in the wider curriculum, and we also helped signpost online support from the school’s website.

 

“We welcome the additional support from the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools and Colleges programme and will continue to work closely with partners involved in this.”

 

The additional schools which are to benefit have yet to be decided, but the extra support from Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools and Colleges programme is seen as an extremely valuable addition to the support given to Tameside’s children and young people.

 

 

The Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools and Colleges programme provides training and support through:

 

•             Training for both school leaders and students to become mental health champions.

•             Mental health first aid training for school staff – allowing them to spot the signs and symptoms, enabling quicker intervention, enabling “difficult conversations” and signpost to appropriate support.

•             Work with athlete mentors to develop young mental health champions and work with targeted groups to build resilience and develop coping strategies using healthy active lifestyles to prevent stress and anxiety.

•             One-to-one support for the more vulnerable children – by appointment with a trained mental health worker.

•             Support for senior leaders to establish a whole school leadership strategy for mental health and wellbeing.

 

This project is part of a £134 million action plan originally announced in 2017 to help to transform mental health in Greater Manchester for both children and adults. The overall investment programme – the biggest and most ambitious of its kind in the country – was intended not only to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health, but to start to deliver Greater Manchester’s vision of making sure that no child who needs mental health support will be turned away.

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