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Posted on Feb 6 2023 by Fiona Bailey

The LightBulb Mental Health Roadshow has officially kicked off in Northampton secondary school Thomas Becket.

Armed with their tips and tricks tucked within their prevention toolkit the LightBulb team are stationing themselves across schools in the county to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

It's their first LightBulb Mental Health Roadshow which has been created to help teachers, parents and children to understand the “power of prevention” when it comes to poor mental health.

Today, the team are delivering assembles to the young people at Thomas Becket and BBC Northampton will also be joining them at some point to interview some of the students and the LightBulb team about the exciting event. 

The LightBulb Mental Health Roadshow is for both primary and secondary schools and is touring eight schools across the county delivering mental health-based sessions, helping the teachers to demonstrate and showcase excellence regarding mental health practice.

Not only that, because St Andrew's is an inclusive charity, the LightBulb team wanted to ensure their resources were available to everyone, so in addition to being onsite in schools, the team are also offering a packed online schedule for teachers and parents to join. The timetable includes mental health lessons, art and mindfulness classes and exercise education.

Thomas Becket’s Assistant Headteacher Molly Harrison said: “Over the years we have definitely seen an increase among our schoolchildren of poor mental health which can manifest itself in many different ways. Children nowadays have a lot to contend with such as social media, online bullying and exam anxiety.

“As a school we really care about the overall health of our children. We’re so much more than just a learning establishment, which is why we wanted to take part in the LightBulb Roadshow which will shine a much-needed light on the mental health of our children; what makes them tick, making sense of the feelings our young people may be experiencing and knowing how and when to take appropriate action.”

Cheryl Smith, LightBulb Founder and Headteacher of the St Andrew’s children and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) College, said: “There can be many, many different reasons as to why a child can start to develop poor mental health. Poverty, parental separation or financial crisis have previously been identified as factors which can impact young people. In recent years, we’ve battled the pandemic and lockdown, but now we’re facing the cost of living crisis which can be equally worrying for kids.

“Sometimes there may not even be a contributing factor, but what is vital is that adults who are responsible for that child are able to spot the signs early and take appropriate action.

“Here at St Andrew’s and within our CAMHS service we look after young people who have developed some very complex mental health problems and I know, many of their conditions went unidentified for many years. We firmly believe in the power of prevention, which is why we launched LightBulb as we want to help young people better understand the way their mind works, so they can reach out and ask for help when they need it. What LightBulb does is also educates the teachers, parents and carers so they took can learn to spot the signs.

“We hope schools up and down the country can recognise the benefit of our Roadshow which promises to be interactive, educational, fun and free, so sign up and we’ll see you there.”

LightBulb is an initiative that is available all year round and provides the participating school with mental health awareness and support training for all school staff as well as sessions for both parents and students. Each session talks about symptoms, support and signposts resources. ​​​​​​​

Since it was launched in 2021, the programme has been delivered at 30 schools and reached more than 16,000 children.

The LightBulb programme is suitable for both primary and secondary schools up and down the country. St Andrew’s Healthcare is a charity and therefore the programme is not a profit-making initiative, which means the pricing structure has been created to ensure it is affordable to all schools:

For more information, click here.