A group of staff and pupils from Dunoon Grammar School participated in a national mental health conference in Glasgow last week.
The event was organised by See Me – an organisation established to help end the stigma often associated with mental health – and gave young people from across Scotland the opportunity to get together and share ideas of how they have been working to combat mental health discrimination.
The school’s head boy and depute head girl, Reece McIntyre and Katie Cameron, were joined by teachers and fellow S6 students Ryan Currie, Jack Brown, Jasmine Smith, Ferghas Walker and Erin O’Donnell, at the event in The Arches.
The pupils are all members of the school mental health committee, along with Depute Head Teacher Kirsty Campbell, and gave an insightful presentation on a number of projects that have been carried out to support culture change in relation to mental health across the school community.
Kirsty said: “They were extremely professional and their work was praised as a shining example of what schools across Scotland should be doing to address these important issues.”
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people is something very close to my heart, so it is extremely encouraging to hear that staff and pupils at Dunoon Grammar have been working hard to raise awareness of it in their school.
“We are committed to stamping out any stigma associated to poor mental health and, in December last year, the council approved a new mental health and wellbeing guidance document for schools in the area.
“Anyone can suffer from poor mental health, at any time in their life so it is vital that as many people as possible get behind this cause.”
Head Teacher, David Mitchell, added “I am extremely proud of the pupils and staff who represented Dunoon Grammar School at this event. The mental health and wellbeing of our staff and pupils is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to support our school community to look after their mental health.”
Dunoon Grammar School will shortly be running a series of family learning events aimed at working with parents and carers to increase knowledge and understanding around mental health stigma, and strategies to help support their children if they are experiencing a mental health problem.
The school will also be running a course on Scottish Mental Health First Aid for parents and carers.
More information will be available on the school website or by contacting the Family Liaison Officer Chulainn Ledsom on 01369 705010.