More than 3,000 children across Northamptonshire have received some form of mental health awareness over the course of last week as part of the very first LightBulb Roadshow.
The initiative was delivered by the LightBulb Mental Wellness Programme for Schools to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, which started on Monday, February 6.
The LightBulb team, part of the St Andrew’s Healthcare Child And Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) College, delivered workshops, assemblies and mindfulness sessions to nine primary and secondary schools across the county, rounding off the week at the Northampton School for Boys (NSB).
Lindsay Greenaway, NSB’s Assistant Head and Mental Health Lead, said: “As a school we take the mental health and wellbeing of our students extremely seriously. Pupils all have access to our ‘report a concern button’ which alerts senior staff members to a potential problem and we regularly hold drop in sessions for children to swing by and talk about any worries they may have. Suicide rates are especially high among young men, so we feel we have a responsibility to our students to encourage them to talk openly about how they’re feeling.
“The world we live in can be stressful and our young people have a lot to contend with, such as exams, social media, family issues and friend conflict and we need to make sure they feel confident enough to identify when there is an issue and to reach out and talk, or ask for help.
“We’re very grateful to our neighbours, the St Andrew’s LightBulb team, for coming to talk to our students making them aware of their mental health and how to keep it in check. We’ve invited them back in March when the team will be delivering the entire LightBulb programme so teachers can learn to become Mental Health First Aiders and the students can benefit from the wide variety of interactive sessions LightBulb provides.”
Joshua, who is in Year 8, said: “The LightBulb assembly was really interesting and I learnt a lot. The main message was ‘it’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to leave it’. That means if I’m feeling sad, or stressed or overwhelmed then I need to talk to someone I trust.”
Cheryl Smith, LightBulb Founder and Headteacher of the St Andrew’s (CAMHS) College, said: “We’re hugely proud of what we’ve achieved with the LightBulb Roadshow. We’ve delivered some form of mental health awareness to more than 3,000 children who have all been told its ok to feel sad or worried from time to time, but talking and sharing those feelings with someone can really help.
“I’d like to thank all the schools who invited us in as I know how busy timetables can be and also the children for how engaged they all were. The LightBulb team has worked relentlessly over the course of the week and the feedback has been wonderful. One teacher described as the “arsenal of mental health awareness” which I think sums us up perfectly.”
Figures used to suggest that one in 10 children within a classroom would experience an issue with their mental health. Now, that number has increased to six out of 10.
The LightBulb Mental Wellness Programme has been created to give schools and parents the skills and resources to spot an issue before it starts developing into a bigger problem.
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
For more information or to sign up to the LightBulb Roadshow email Lightbulb@stah.org