St Albans secondary schools take part in mental health conference
PUBLISHED: 06:59 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:43 03 January 2020
Pupils from nine St Albans secondary schools took part in a 'Positive Mental Health Conference' at St Albans Museum + Gallery.
The conference featured talks from experts including mental health campaigner Isabella Segal and representatives from the recently established schools' mental health support teams.
Topics discussed ranged from personal triggers to local provision, and the dangers of addiction and its relationship to mental health.
Opening the conference, St Albans mental health champion Cllr Anthony Rowlands said: "The conference is a valuable opportunity for students to hear about others' experiences.
"Young people are eager to learn how they can play a significant part in making their schools more psychologically informed."
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During an afternoon session, pupils shared their experiences, discussed what they already do in school to support positive mental health and what they could do in the future.
The conference was organised by Hayley Redfern, who teaches at Marlborough Science Academy. She said: "We wanted to celebrate and share the exceptional work that our local young people are already doing within the schools.
"It was an important opportunity for the students to consider how mental health issues can impact the lives of young adults and to hear about some of support channels that are in place both locally and nationally.
"They were able to share with others how their school encourages positive mental health and begin planning ways that they can use their student voice platform to promote resilience and support positive mental health within the school community."
In 2019, new Healthy Young Minds in Herts accreditation was made available to schools and colleges to demonstrate pupils and teachers' commitment to improving emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Schools also looked at having designated mental health leads among the staff, and a previous mental health conference was held in Chorleywood in November.
The St Albans and Harpenden young people's clinic was also set up at Parkbury House Surgery for anyone aged 11 to 25 registered with a local GP surgery.