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wear it green for mental health awareness week 2024

Last week we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week at asphaleia.

 

This year’s theme is all about movement and how being active is an important component to having good mental health.


wearing green and lunch club

Our Mental Health Lead, Sally, spent time with young people on Wear it Green day. She said, 'The young people at the centre were all in exams so lots of nerves around! However, the staff and I spoke with the young people about the importance of movement for mental health. There were various discussions about how we all move around and how it makes us feel better, whatever moving around looks like for us individually.'


Staff member Sally smiling at the camera and wearing green
Sally wearing green for mental health

Sally also did the lunch club with some ESOL students and we had a chat about football and how the majority of them love playing it. 


PSC session with ESOL students

Our Youth Voice & Participation Worker, Chloe, did a personal, social, community session during the week with ESOL students that was focused on mental health.


It started with discussion about “What is mental health?” where they specifically focused discussions on how movement can help support our mental health. 


Each student wrote one thing that they like to do when they feel down or tired or stressed. Examples include: boxing, going to the gym, playing football, going to church, going for a walk in the park. 


post it notes with activities written on stuck on a whiteboard

The key points made during the session were:


  • We all have mental health and it’s important to look after it. This means caring about our minds, our emotions, and thoughts.  

  • There are some good habits we can do every day to help us look after our minds - moving more is one of them.  

  • Moving more helps us to feel good because when we move our bodies release ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins. 

  • We talked about the benefits of doing exercise and playing sport for physical health but also that being physically active is great for our mental health too! It helps us to concentrate, sleep better, boost self-esteem, and improve mood. 

  • Also focused on the fact that ‘moving’ doesn’t necessarily need to be a sport, it can be going for a walk, dancing, doing yoga etc. 

There was also a discussion around the two statements below:


“People with good mental health feel happy all the time.” 
“People with good mental health can manage a range of positive and negative emotions.” 

Chloe asked students to choose which one they agree with by asking “do you feel happy all the time?”  


Everyone agreed that being happy all the time is impossible and that having feelings and talking about them is normal – we all have good and bad days. 


Finally, Chloe incorporated movement into the session by taking the group to Steyne Gardens for a game. They had a group stretching session where young people were encouraged to jump in and lead a stretch, which many of them did. 



They played a game involving teamwork and communication and ended with most young people playing a friendly game of football. Then they walked back to the centre via the beach. 

 

mental health awareness week for staff

Staff were encouraged to wear green across the week to allow for varied working patterns.


They were also sent resources and info from HR as well as from our comms lead and were encouraged to take part in the Strava running challenge by the Mental Health Foundation.


mental health awareness week promo image

 

This month's safeguarding bulletin was centred around mental health and specifically, self-harm, to refresh staff on how to approach and respond to self-harm concerns.

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