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Young People Benefit from Positive Mental Health Curriculum

September 02, 2010 3:17 PM

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In a bid to breakdown the barriers and stigmas associated with mental health, a specially developed Positive Mental Attitudes curriculum pack has now been rolled-out to all secondary schools in Glasgow.

The pack, developed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in conjunction with Glasgow City Council and other partners, is aimed at young people from S1 – S6 with age appropriate lessons promoting positive mental health and preventing and supporting mental health problems.

The resource has been developed following careful consultation with young people and key stakeholders and has been supported by multi-agency training.

Recent statistics published reveal that 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem and around 1 in 12 children and young people deliberately self harm.

Trevor Lakey, from Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board’s Mental Health Partnership comments: “Promotion of positive mental health is a vital part of health and wellbeing for young people, and important to their education too.

“Having young people and a wide range of groups and agencies shape the Positive Mental Attitudes curriculum pack has been a real asset.

“We are delighted that the resource is now being used across all of Glasgow and further afield. The curriculum has even been translated for use internationally, including in Georgia and Pakistan!”

Tony Waclawski, quality improvement officer for health and wellbeing, at Glasgow City Council has been part of the development team for the resource and is delighted that all secondary school young people across the city will now have access to the lessons.

He said: “Mental and emotional health and wellbeing is an important issue in the lives of our young people in secondary schools.

“They have a real need for quality information and advice to help them achieve positive mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

“The partnership approach to developing the pack, involving NHS and Education staff, was critical in ensuring that the pack succeeds in helping young people to look after and improve their mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

“It is good to see that all our secondary schools have signed up to the pack, and it shows the value they place on this resource.”

The curriculum pack consists of lesson suggestions and worksheets for each year group and includes a DVD with anecdotal scenarios to illustrate mental health issues young people could be experiencing or who have family members or friends in this position.

Special training for teachers delivering the lessons has been organised and teachers are also equipped with contacts for a range of support services and protocols available for young people who may be experiencing difficulties and disclose to school staff.

One of the first schools to use the Positive Mental Attitudes curriculum pack, Lochend Community High in the east end of Glasgow, is now in the third year of the programme and are happy to be used as a case study to illustrate this story.

Please contact Fiona Ross, education PR officer, Glasgow City Council on telephone number 0141 287 0918 to arrange to speak to a group of pupils who have been involved in the lessons or to speak to a teacher who delivers them.

Or

Susan Carden, communications officer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, telephone number 0141 201 4432.

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