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NHS charity supports World Mental Health Day schools project

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WARRINGTON primary schools took part in all sorts of activities around World Mental Health Day this year supported by Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity.

The event falls on October 10 every year and aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.

Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity, supported local schools by providing them with mental health awareness packs that they were able to utilise within their own assemblies and workshops. The charity team also visited schools to chat with the children, who shared their own thoughts and ideas about how they wish to support themselves and those around them with regards to mental health.

One of the schools that really got involved was Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Warrington. They had children across all years, from Reception to Year 6, taking part in activities and learning about mental health. Examples of activities for the older students included guided meditation and taking part in a ‘Healthy Mind and Body’ session with coaches from Liverpool Football Club, whereas younger students focused on mindfulness colouring, creating colour monsters to represent their feelings and outdoor nature walks. The school also managed to raise £158 for Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity by holding a ‘Rainbow Dress-up’ themed day where everyone came to school wearing bright, positive colours.

Mr Sam Rotchell, Year 1 Teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, said: “There has never been a more important time to equip children with the knowledge and skills to protect their mental health and wellbeing.

The support and resources from the Warrington and Halton Hospital’s charity enabled us to guide our pupils through this challenging topic in appropriate and purposeful ways. We are proud to have participated in this important day, as part of our ongoing support of this wonderful charity.”

Head Boy, Max Dunbabin explained that “Learning about mental health is so important because if we don’t take time to learn about it then we wouldn’t know how to improve how we feel when things are tough.”

He went on to highlight that “understanding how others feel means you can love and support them too.”

When asked if she had a favourite memory or top tip from the World Mental Health Awareness Day, Head Girl, Meeval Joby said, “We had a brilliant lesson where we talked about the importance of sharing our emotions in a positive way and to not lock them away.”

St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School in Penketh also had a ‘Rainbow Day’ and completed various activities focused around mental health. Helen Higginson from Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity also visited the school on Tuesday 12th October to lead an assembly highlighting to the pupils the importance of looking after their mental health.

Helen, who is the charity’s Fundraising Manager, said: “The last year has really seen a light shone onto mental health in our communities. Young people have all been affected by the uncertainty and disruption to their young lives. We are extremely passionate about encouraging young people of all ages to have conversations about their feelings and hopefully provide some ideas on how to self-help and know where to seek help from.”

Other schools that participated include Newchurch Community Primary School in Culcheth, Runcorn All Saints C of E Primary School and St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in Widnes, the latter of which had their very own ‘Rainbow Day’ on Friday 15th October, where children dressed in bright colours with a focus on art and mental health.

St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Latchford did something slightly different by having a ‘Rainbow socks’ day, where all students wore colourful, jazzy socks with their uniforms to accompany their in-class mental health workshops and activities.

In total, the primary schools raised a collective £558 for Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity, all of which will go directly towards helping patients and their families.

Pictured: Year 6 pupils Isla McQueeney (L) and Michel Agho (R) celebrating World Mental Health Day at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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