Katy Sexton with pupils 

“Wonderful”, “essential”, “inspiring”, “very moving” were just some of the adjectives used by pupils to describe the impact that the Mental Health Week talks had on them.

During the week hundreds of pupils heard from staff about a range of topics including depression, anxiety, mindfulness, resilience and supporting friends. “For the pupils to engage directly with people who have either experienced these issues or from people who help counsel through mental health problems has been key,” said Mrs Jo Morgan, Head of Pastoral Curriculum and organiser of the events. “It is our responsibility to open up discussions with pupils about any issues that may affect them directly and provide an atmosphere where they feel able to talk freely and look for the support they need.”

At the end of the week the school were delighted to welcome Katy Sexton, former swimming World Champion, who spoke very movingly about her experience of living with depression, how difficult it was for her to accept and how she moved through it. “Talking openly about my journey has helped me to understand more about myself,” said Katy. “There is still some taboo around mental health issues so being able to speak to pupils about my experience and to be open about it is extremely important.”

“We are hugely grateful to our courageous teachers for sharing their stories and helping us to create a school culture where mental health is openly discussed,” concluded Mr James Priory, Headmaster. “The pupil response has been overwhelming and my hope is that a support network is now firmly established with pupils knowing where they can go for support, whether that is to one of our School Counsellors, a teacher or a friend.”

Resources from the week can be found be clicking here.