MHAW18

In their own words: what young people tell us about stress ... and working with HeadStart to cope with it

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, with its theme of 'Stress: Are We Coping?', and in recent weeks, members of the HeadStart team have been working in schools with young people supporting them in developing coping strategies for dealing with stress. This topic is particularly relevant at this time of year, with Year 6 SATs having taken place this week, and the exam season for GCSEs and A Levels in full flow.

Here's a report from Tara Bourne, our HeadStart Young Person Engagement Coordinator for Bilston East, about recent sessions at Loxdale Primary School:

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Stress-busting workshops for Year 6 at Loxdale Primary School

I had offered to attend for three lunchtimes during the week of year 6 SATS to run workshops around combating stress. All year 6 pupils attended at least one of the workshops, but most attended all three! During the 3 sessions the following areas and activities were covered:

  • mindfulness and relaxation
  • breathing activities
  • therapeutic colouring
  • stress relief tips and tricks
  • calming crafts: creating homemade glitter jars, homemade stress balls and stress relieving homemade slime!

Feedback given to staff from the young people who attended was extremely positive and confirmed the positive outcome from the sessions. All young people fully appreciated the range of activities on offer through the sessions, including the more calming element to the sessions of learning mindfulness relaxation and breathing exercises.

A number of young people expressed how they found it really helped them, and how they even found themselves so relaxed they were almost asleep by the end! Staff informed me that students arrived for their SATS examinations following our sessions with their homemade stress balls and practising their breathing activities before entering the examination.

Here is some feedback collected during the workshops:

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This has been really good and excellent help.
HeadStart staff are really friendly
It was really fun and stress relieving
Brilliant!
With HeadStart, the fun is never-ending!
I feel very stress free and happy, I love it, that’s it!
I found it fun and relaxing
Best session ever!

A number of students approached me during the workshops to thank me for listening to them and coming in to do what they had asked for from HeadStart during our initial planning session. When asked how useful the workshops had been the response was extremely positive with all members feeling they had enjoyed the sessions and had taken something away that they felt could help them when they were worried, stressed or anxious in the future, and especially during this SATS.

All year 6 pupils felt this was something that should be on offer for all year 6 pupils across the city as it really helped them stay calm and focus during the examination week.


What do young people say about stress?

Meanwhile, at Moreton School, another of our HeadStart Young Person Engagement Coordinators, Samantha Gregory, was working with her group of HeadStart mini Ambassadors, and asked them questions about what causes them stress and how they respond. Here are their answers:

Q. What makes you feel anxious or stressed?

A. Assessments, losing a family member, bullying, when work is too hard for me, when stuff is out of place, working too hard, when your parents go mad at you, exams, getting in trouble for things I haven’t done

Q. What does stress feel like – physically and emotionally?

Tiring, feeling drained, feeling snappy, distracted, irritated, frustrated, annoyed, stressed, fear, sad

Q. Do you have ways to deal/cope with your stress? What are they?

Taking time out, watching films, talking to friends

Q. What helpful ways have you seen or are you aware of that people do to cope with stress?

Having time out, stress balls, colouring, baking, walking the dog, talking and getting advice

Q. What unhelpful things have you seen or are you aware of that people do to cope with stress?

Destroying stuff, being destructive, shouting, cutting themselves, hit things, arguing

Q. If you could give one piece of advice or coping with stress, what would it be?

Don’t take it out on other people, take time out, walk your dog by yourself, have someone to talk to.

'Stress' podcasts from Moreton School!


Huge thanks to Tara and Sam for sharing their insights from two of our wonderful HeadStart schools!

Mindfulness for Mental Health Awareness Week

I feel that the worries I had at the beginning have been lifted off my shoulders
— A young person attending the training session

Last night's workshop at our HeadStart base for All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall, The Bob Jones Community Hub, brought together over 20 young people and parents for training in the basics of mindfulness. The session was led by trainer Adam Dacey from MindSpace UK.

People attending the session were introduced to mindfulness techniques including mindful camera, mindful standing and mindful walking. An air of calm descended upon the session for an hour as everyone focussed on techniques to 'live in the present'.

The HeadStart Newshounds were on hand to film the event - here's their great video:

We also took the opportunity to speak to Adam about mindfulness, and the benefits it can bring to young people and adults alike:

More photos to come from the session soon!

Don't miss out! Wellbeing activities from HeadStart providers for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

The HeadStart programmes in our target areas of Low Hill, Scotlands and Bushbury South / Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath / Bilston East / All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall are in full flow, and to mark Mental Health Awareness Week's 2018 theme of 'Stress: Are We Coping?', many of the activities this week will have a stress-busting slant. Here's a quick reminder of the programme:

Low Hill, Scotlands and Bushbury South

The programme from the WV10 Consortium runs from bases at:

  • The Big Venture Centre
  • Low Hill Community Centre
  • Park Village Education Centre.

The programme includes a wide range of activities, including family cooking, well-being warriors, gaming sessions, craft cafe and much more!

For more information about the activities, and how to book places, please download this flyer.


Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath

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Activities in the area are lead by Black Country YMCA, and follow a weekly timetable, repeating until the start of June, with sessions run from Eastfield Community Centre, Park Village Education Centre, and Holy Trinity Church Hall.

Activities are:

  • Relax and Craft
  • Active Bodies, Active Minds
  • Let's Talk ... Mental Health
  • Food & Mood

For details of each of the activities, and for detailed timetables, please download the complete programme below:

Download Complete Programme for Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath (PDF)

Download Complete Programme for Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath (PDF)


Bilston East

The programme being lead by Gazebo in Bilston continues this week with a wide range of activities:

  • Monday 14th May, 4:30pm to 7:30pm, A Place to be Me at Bilston Town Hall. Activities for young people 10 – 16yrs based around coping mechanism to deal with stress.
  • Wednesday 16th May, 9:30am - 12:30pm, Parents and Carers, Stress-free Brunch Time at Lower Bradley Community Centre
  • Wednesday 16th May, 4:30pm to 7:30pm, A Place to be Me at Bilston Town Hall. Activities for young people 10 – 16yrs based around coping mechanism to deal with stress.

The Newshounds from Gazebo are also out and about in the city collecting media on events in Bilston and elsewhere!


All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall

Mindfulness is a set of techniques that anyone can use to calm the mind, focus on your priorities, and reduce stress and anxiety.

On Wednesday 16th May from 4:15pm to 5:15pm, Adam Dacey, the founder of Mindspace, is leading a free mindfulness workshop.

We'd love to see you there!

 

Activities in the area are lead by Black Country YMCA, and follow a weekly timetable, repeating until the start of June, with sessions run from Bob Jones Community Hub and All Saints Community Centre.

Activities are:

  • Relax and Craft
  • Active Bodies, Active Minds
  • Let's Talk ... Mental Health
  • Food & Mood

For details of each of the activities, and for detailed timetables, please download the complete programme.

The HeadStart popup shop for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 #MHAW18 #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

The HeadStart popup shop for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 has the theme of "Stress: Are We Coping?, and to mark the start of the week, HeadStart opened a popup shop in The Mander Centre on Saturday 12th May.

Visitors to the shop shared their experiences of stress, and participated in activities including LEGO, arts and crafts, a photobooth. They were also provided with information about HeadStart activities in their area, and had the opportunity to explore the HeadStart Support and Guidance site, which collects selected resources to support the wellbeing of young people on a range of topics.

Our HeadStart Ambassadors were on hand to speak to visitors, and visitors were also encouraged to add their thoughts to our 'Stress: Are We Coping?" tree!

Over 100 people visited during the day, and feedback was almost universally positive, with 96% of visitors rating the event as Good or better.

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In conversation with visitors to the popup shop


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The Popup Shop Gallery


HeadStart Ambassadors Run Pop up Shop

Last Wednesday the HeadStart Ambassadors ran a Mental Health awareness pop up shop in the Mander centre. Throughout the day Ambassadors ran different types of activities, including a happiness pledges, lego building, arts and crafts, sharing information about Mental Health & Mental welbeing and other activties HeadStart run accros the city with in Schools, Communities and beyond. On the day 66 people attended the event, one family came to the the city centre just to attend the event and find out more about what HeadStart Ambassadors are and what they can do to help.

Press release: Come and see HeadStart in our popup shop on Saturday 12th May.

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Shoppers are invited to call into HeadStart Wolverhampton's pop-up shop in the Mander Centre this Saturday (12 May) to enjoy free activities for all the family.

The pop-up shop, on the first floor between New Look and The Works, launches HeadStart Wolverhampton's week of activities to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2018. The theme of this year's week is "Stress: Are we coping?", and the HeadStart team have designed a programme of events all centred around stress relief.

The pop-up shop, open from 9am to 5.30pm, will offer a range of free activities for young people aged 10 to 16 years, including Lego workshops and arts and crafts designed to relieve stress.

There's also a chance to meet the HeadStart Wolverhampton team and find out more about the support available for young people and their families, while visitors can collect free goodie bags with art activity packs and additional resources to support young people in coping with stress.

Hope, the HeadStart Wolverhampton wolf, will also be making a guest appearance. Designed by the HeadStart team, she was originally on display as part of the popular Wolves in Wolves project which took place last summer.

The pop-up shop is a fantastic way to start HeadStart Wolverhampton’s Mental Health Awareness Week events.

Stress is something which affects everyone, and the pop-up shop activities have been designed to support young people and encourage everyone to take care of their mental health and wellbeing.
— Val Gibson, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 14-20 May and is organised by the Mental Health Foundation. For more information, please visit Mental Health Foundation. To find out more about what HeadStart Wolverhampton has planned during the week, please visit Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.  

HeadStart Wolverhampton, part of a £56m National Lottery funded programme set-up by Big Lottery Fund, is designed to improve the emotional mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with the challenges they face.

As well as running a series of specific programmes in its four key target areas, HeadStart Wolverhampton offers city wide help through a  Support and Guidance Directory which provides emotional mental health and wellbeing resources from different organisations, including information targeted at young people, parents and carers, and professionals. You can find the directory at www.headstartonline.co.uk/support.

To find out more about HeadStart, please visit HeadStart, follow @headstartfm on Twitter or Instagram, or find HeadStart on Facebook.