Students at ATLP’s Nether Stowe School are to be trained to become ‘peer mentors’ to help their classmates deal with wellbeing challenges brought by the COVID pandemic, in a pioneering scheme funded by the National Lottery.
Twenty pupils at Nether Stowe School, in St Chad’s Road, will be trained as peer mentors to become Mental Health Champions through YMCA Heart of England, a local young people’s charity.
Rachel Chilver, Mental Health lead at the School, said: “Nether Stowe School is proud to announce that our bid for National Lottery funding has been successful and we will be providing an enhanced wellbeing programme to support young people in Lichfield.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the local area and the multiple barriers faced by them are considerable.
“Navigating these uncertain times and feeling anxious about their future means that many report struggles with their mental health.
“Our community project aims to provide support to help our young people thrive both personally and academically.”
Under the scheme, the school’s newly-trained peer mentors will actively work in the school community and beyond delivering peer-to-peer sessions about the importance of wellbeing, as well as proving one-to-one support to students who are struggling.
The ground-breaking idea is based on the belief that children often find it easier to confide in their peers first, before talking to family members or school staff.
Mrs Chilver added: “Being active is key to good mental health; we will be offering dance sessions to students, to the parents of our students and also to children in Years 5 and 6 from the local area – many of whom are experiencing significant anxiety about the transition to secondary school following three national lockdowns in the space of just two academic years.
“We will also be delivering tailor-made wellbeing workshops where both Nether Stowe students and local primary pupils will learn how to manage stress through a range of holistic therapies including meditation, yoga and aromatherapy.”
Headteacher Glyn Langston-Jones said:
“We are very proud to be able to offer this support programme, we truly believe that we need to invest in the wellbeing of our young people to help them thrive both personally and academically.
“Our young people are the future and we are committed to supported their emotional wellbeing so that they can go on to lead full and enriched lives.”
Nether Stowe pupils are to be trained to become ‘peer mentors’ to help their classmates deal with wellbeing challenges brought by the pandemic.