Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
At the beginning of Term 3, 20 students from Years 10–12 participated in a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course at Hutchins. The external facilitator and Hutchins staff who attended were all very impressed by the maturity and interest shown by the students over the two days. Following the course, the facilitator Emma Dillon wrote to the School to express that ‘I am always amazed by how educated and enthusiastic the students are about mental health and supporting others who may be experiencing mental health issues’.
This initiative began in 2019 after the Prefect in charge of mental health and wellbeing, George Scott, wanted to empower students to better support their peers through challenging times. Out of this goal came the plan to run two YMHFA courses each year and for graduates of the course to have the option to become a Mental Health Contact Officer in the Senior School. This role provides a first point of contact for students in getting to the right help for any issues they might be having. Learn more about the Youth Mental Health First Aid Course in the video below, or watch on Vimeo or YouTube.
This year sees the beginning of a student-led Wellbeing Committee in Senior School that builds on the progress made last year. This committee is made up of leadership from the prefect body and volunteers from Years 9–12 to make decisions on priority areas within the School. Some early successes include senior students running mindfulness sessions in the Middle School, a student wellbeing survey, and the creation of a Relaxation Room for the Year 11/12 exam period.
These are just a few examples of the initiatives taking place across the school to build a strong culture of support for wellbeing and to de-stigmatise and raise awareness around mental health issues amongst young people.
Mr Matt Magnus