With one in six children aged five to 16 believed to have a probable mental health problem*, St Andrew’s Healthcare wanted to do something about the epidemic that is damaging the minds of young people.
The Northampton-based mental health charity has launched the LightBulb Mental Health Roadshow, for both primary and secondary schools, which will start on Monday, February 6, 2023 to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
The week-long event will tour several local schools across the county delivering mental health based sessions, helping them to demonstrate and showcase excellence regarding mental health practice.
Additionally, there will be a packed online schedule of wellbeing clinics, mental health lessons, art and mindfulness classes and exercise education, so schools up and down the country can also join in.
On the first day, the LightBulb team has teamed up with Thomas Becket Catholic School from which they will host an assembly to officially launch the Roadshow. There will also be an online assembly so participating schools can join virtually.
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.”
The LightBulb Roadshow is free and available virtually to all schools across the country. A selection of sessions will be delivered onsite to the first few schools from Northampton that sign up.
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:
Primary school with up to 200 students £200
Primary schools with over 200 students £400
Secondary Schools £800
To view a video about LightBulb, click here.
For more information or to sign up to the LightBulb Roadshow email Lightbulb@standrew.co.uk