Teams from Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB) 0-25s Mental Health Service are delivering workshops to improve the mental wellbeing of secondary school and primary school children in Birmingham.
FTB's Youth Mental Health Team are running workshops in schools for parents and young people, offering early help and support to prevent students from developing mental health issues.
Megan Spinks, a Senior Youth Practitioner within the team, said: "These workshops are a new kind of service that we offer at FTB, and it's our hope that by providing early help, we can prevent some young people from needing to enter a secondary service in the future."
The workshops teach young people about mental health awareness and equips them with the necessary tools to support their mental health both inside and outside of school, from learning about sleep hygiene to online safety.
Rhonda Marynowski, School Counsellor for Ninestiles, an Academy in Acocks Green, which is part of the Summit Learning Trust in Birmingham, talked about the workshops Megan and her team delivered at the school.
Rhonda said: "The workshops were fantastic - they offered practical techniques and advice to our young people, and their parents for building resilience and supporting mental health in secondary school."
The Youth Mental Health team, part of FTB's STICK (Screening, Training, Intervention, Consultation and Knowledge) service, delivered a workshop to year’s seven and eight at Ninestiles, an Academy on the importance of self-care and healthy sleeping patterns.
Rhonda explained: "The young people got a lot out of it; they've taken on board the advice and have asked about more workshops in the future. During the pandemic, young people missed out on a lot of preventative work to support their mental health and wellbeing. With everything that's happening in the world, it's so important we discuss mental health to not only normalise it, but to also offer the support and practical steps for improving wellbeing.
"Schools often act as the first line of defence, therefore this early intervention is crucial for children and young people. It's very important that children and young people know we openly talk about mental health and that we are here to help to offer support and guidance or signpost to external agencies where required."
The Youth Mental Health team also ran workshops with parents on how they can support their child's mental health and where they can access further support if required.
Rhonda said: "We had a lot of interest in the workshops, and the parents found them really useful. It posed a bigger conversation about mental health which allowed parents to ask questions and seek support. We are very thankful to STICK for the workshops. They are a great team, and our families and the Ninestiles community really benefitted from their visit."
Alex Hughes, Principle at Ninestiles, an Academy added: “We’re really proud of the partnership we have established between Ninestiles, an Academy, Forward Thinking Birmingham and our community of parents, carers and learners. At Ninestiles we recognise what an important role mental health plays in the lives of young people and I am delighted that we have taken proactive steps to support all of our learners and their families”.
Watch Megan deliver a workshop at Ninestiles an Academy and hear feedback from students on our YouTube channel.
Forward Thinking Birmingham, part of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, is a modern mental health service offering support, care and treatment to 0-25s in Birmingham.
For more information about the STICK team and how to access their mental health workshops, visit the Forward Thinking Birmingham website.