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Palace for Life support mental health of over 500 primary students

Palace for Life tackle mental health in young people through virtual wellbeing workshops.

The Palace for Life Primary Schools team are proud to be committed to improving the mental health of young people, a need which has been highlighted further due to the impact of Coronavirus and the national lockdowns.

In response to the third national lockdown, the Primary Schools team created a series of workshops designed to overcome mental health challenges that young people may have experienced over the last year, whilst helping to prepare them as the country begins to return to ‘normality’.

The sessions, delivered to pupils in school years 5 and 6, covered topics including ‘an introduction to mental health, gratitude, resilience, communication and social responsibility.

In each session, students were asked 3 key questions, based around: What? Why? How?

During one session, when discussing the nature of resilience and what it meant to the students, the team discussed why we perceive resilience to be important and how we benefit from it. Further, how we can practically apply ourselves to be more resilient and in doing so positively affect our futures.

At the end of each session, participants were set a challenge pertaining to the subject covered, such as writing a list of 3 things at the end of every day that they’re grateful for and beginning a class-wide social responsibility initiative.

The sessions were hosted in 9 different south London primary schools, delivering to over 500 children in the process.  The success of these sessions encouraged the Palace for Life team to run an open ‘Introduction to mental health’ session advertised through social media, which had over 120 participants and some great feedback.

Tom Prance, Palace for Life Mental Wellbeing Coordinator said: “Given the unprecedented experiences these children have had to endure throughout the last year we thought it imperative that we still deliver something worthwhile despite everyone being stuck at home.

“To this end, we decided that a series of workshops designed to better prepare them for the return to normality and their futures, in general, would not only be appropriate but also of great potential value. After the success of the series, I can honestly say that it’s helped a lot!”

Palace for Life Mental Wellbeing Officer, Emmanuel Attakpah, added: “I believe what we did was important as the pandemic is likely to have caused a lot of stress for many young people, as a result, the sessions were needed to help guide them and grow the tools with which they will be able to recover from any potential/lasting effects of Covid-19.”

Year 6 pupil, Abigail, said: “I really liked it because it affected my mental health, it really changed it for the better, and I feel really grateful that we’ve had these sessions.” 

The Headteacher of one Primary School that received the sessions said: “I spoke to the staff and pupils who were in the session in school and they all really enjoyed it. It had a good structure, the children were attentive throughout and they felt they challenged perceptions and gained strategies, so seems like it was very positive overall.”

All schools that took part in the virtual mental health series were surveyed, where 93% of participants enjoyed the sessions, 95% said they learnt something about mental wellbeing, and 100% said they felt welcome during the sessions.

 

To find out more about the sessions the Palace for Life Primary Schools team offers, and the sessions ran to support the mental health in young people, click here.  

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