Secondary school in Milton Keynes is a 'beacon' of understanding about mental health

Hazeley Academy
Hazeley Academy

With mental health of young people becoming key issue, trailblazing Hazeley Academy took part in a day of learning about mental health illnesses.

The students were joined by seven speakers from across the mental health spectrum. These included eating disorder campaigner Nick Canham and Campbell Centre Peer Support Worker Mark Sanderson.

Mind BLMK, Balance:MK, Young Carers MK and the NHS CAMHS service ran stands in the school's foyer.

Also included in the exhibition were colourful artworks provided by recovering mental health service users.

Throughout the day students listened to the speakers' personal journeys and were encouraged to participate in classroom activities and ask questions.

Over the coming months, the team will be undertaking several more Mental Health awareness events at The Hazeley Academy and will also be working with school to expand their support and education in dealing with mental health matters on a day to day basis within the school.

Steff Healy, Hazeley's deputy principal said:The speakers delivered a powerful and personal account of their journeys which students could relate to. Throughout the day, the students were immersed in personal stories of successes and learnt strategies of how to cope with mental health issues. This was one of the best Drop Down Days we have ever had!"

Nick Canham said: "The day was really interesting. We managed to capture the students attention with a wide range of true stories, which did spark an emotional response from students, teachers and the speakers”.

“Hazeley is a real beacon within Milton Keynes with their attitude towards mental health. They really do take it very seriously. This as a recovered service user is wonderful to hear and it is helping equip them with the right skills for their futures”.

Event facilitator Shanon Austin said: "Their art work was amazing and the reflection of what they had learnt blended with what knowledge of mental health matters they already knew was outstanding”.

She added: “Significant progress has been made over the past twoyears to tackle stigma surrounding mental health, however sadly it still remains a key issue driven by negative associations, experiences and language”.