Mental health is top priority for young people in North Tyneside

Press release: An abstract view of the Council crest

A group of young people are working to break the stigmas around mental health and put it at the top of the agenda in North Tyneside.

The Young Persons Health and Wellbeing Board in North Tyneside, who have a specific interest in health issues for children and young people, has developed a new resource that will be available for all our secondary schools in the borough to raise awareness of mental health issues.

The group prioritised mental health education as its top priority and developed the M!ND YOUR HEAD project. The group met with services and charities, as well as completing a number of mental health training programmes. They also spoke to young people in youth groups and schools to find out what education was provided locally on mental health, and also which services young people knew about as support.

As a result of this the Young Persons Health and Wellbeing Board has created a school lesson plan outlining common mental health issues which can be used in secondary schools across the borough.

The lessons aim to educate young people on what it can be like to live with a mental health issue in order to try and break stigmas around mental health. The session offers advice on how to maintain positive mental health and it also suggests places where young people can access help and support.

The lesson plan contains teacher’s notes, a PowerPoint presentation, FAQs, M!ND YOUR HEAD leaflet and service directory (which will be handed out to every pupil) and an evaluation of the session.

Rebecca Moore, 16, attends Marden High School and is a member of the North Tyneside Young Persons Health and Wellbeing Board. She said: “The health and wellbeing of young people is key and mental health is an important part of this.”

“We’ve identified mental health as a priority as it affects so many young people, in so many different ways. This project has allowed us to create a lesson plan that raises awareness of mental health, offers support for young people and break down the associated stigma.”

The Young Persons Health and Wellbeing Board is supported by North Tyneside Council’s participation and advocacy team. The group also received funding from o2 Think Big and North Tyneside’s Young Mayor’s Community Fund to deliver the project.

Cllr Lesley Spillard, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Mental health is an area we need to address so this project has been a great way to talk to young people about the issue, increase understanding and make sure young people know there is help and support if they need it.”