Nursing students’ topical workshops for local pupils to support Mental Health Awareness Week

Department of Nursing students from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences have run topical workshops at Bishop Gore Comprehensive School this week (May 8-12) in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2The workshops, on the themes of stress control, social media, psychoactive substances (or ‘legal-highs’), and bullying, were set up and planned by eight Mental Health Nursing students (pictured) in Year One and Year Three of their studies, on a voluntary basis. 

The students worked with the school and its deputy headteacher Mrs Treharne to develop the specific topics for discussion with pupils.

As well as delivering daily sessions this week through presentations at pupil assemblies, and including an hour-long session for the Year 9 group this morning (Friday, May 12), the Nursing students also set up an information stand in Bishop Gore’s canteen and ran competitions for pupils to spread awareness about mental health.

Mental Health Awareness WeekYear Three Mental Health Nursing student Alex Simpson, one of the workshops organisers, said: “Our main objective in setting up and planning this week of activity to support Mental Health Awareness Week with a local school was to try to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. 

“We planned the sessions to include sharing some of our own stories surrounding mental health and how it has affected us either directly, or indirectly. The feedback we have had from the pupil assemblies this week has been absolutely fantastic. 

“As a student myself, I appreciate when a service user or someone outside of the University comes to speak to us, to share their knowledge and to allow us to ask questions about their field or topic.

“By arranging these events this week for Bishop Gore pupils, and highlighting and talking about what are often challenging topics and themes, we hope it normalises them, breaks the stigma, and hopefully encourages the pupils to talk more about their own mental health and wellbeing.”

For  more information on Nursing programmes at Swansea University visit http://www.swansea.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/human-and-health-sciences/, and Mental Health Awareness Week, visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week.