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Grantham school raises mental health awareness

Dressed to impress: Pupils at St John's were a variety of outfits to mark Mental Health Week earlier this month.
Dressed to impress: Pupils at St John's were a variety of outfits to mark Mental Health Week earlier this month.

Primary school children dressed up in their favourite outfits and took part in a collective marathon to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

Staff and pupils at The West Grantham Academy St John’s were celebrating #BeingOurselves! as part of a week-long programme of activities, earlier this month.

Pupil premium co-ordinator Charley Walledge said: “We began the week with an assembly to explain what mental health is. We made the link between physical exercise and feeling good by explaining that endorphins are released when exercising.

“I am running the London Marathon for mental health charity MIND this year and so the pupils took part in a collective marathon attempt to support me. Each child ran 1km and these were added up to 42km. We had a good luck video message from Ben Smith – 401 marathon man – who also provided some medals. The pupils were then invited to ‘express themselves’ by dressing up on a non-uniform day.”

There was also a raffle, tombola, cake sale and a sweepstake throughout the week.

It is the first time that the school has marked Mental Health Week.

Charley added: “It was important for us as a school to recognise that mental health is just as important as physical health and to make the children aware of what mental health is in a child friendly way, such as discussing self-esteem. As a school, we are very aware at how times are changing with social media and other outside influences affecting young people today. We want our students to know they can talk about how they are feeling at any time. We explained that it is okay to need help with mental health issues just like they would get help with any physical health issues.”

Visit: www.childrensmental healthweek.org.uk


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