Mental Health Awareness Week - Hurstpierpoint College

Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week which this year celebrated nature – something we all appreciated during lockdown for our daily exercise or to meet friends outdoors. The theme was chosen to encourage more people to go outside to support their mental health, especially as the days lengthen and warm up. This gave the Diversity and Inclusion team the idea to focus on outdoor activities for the Senior School, and caring for plants in the Prep and Pre-Prep.

In the Prep School, Mrs Taylor-West led an assembly on the importance of mental health and looking after yourself. She used the analogy of our minds as plants: requiring water (both literally, and in the sense of physical care), weeding (of negative thoughts), and sunlight (fresh air, care and positivity). At the start of the week each form in the Prep and Pre-Prep received a plant in a biodegradable pot with the message to look after it just as we need to look after ourselves. The pots were made by the Climate Awareness Group using paper destined for the recycling bins. Classes can choose to look after the plants for the rest of the year, or staff can plant them straight into the ground. Pupils produced some lovely media as reflections of Mental Health Awareness Week which will be published in the May edition of Engage for Change.

Students and staff In the Senior School the had the chance to sign up for a range of outdoor activities including running, walking, yoga and mindfulness sessions. One particular highlight was the upbeat and empowering 7am spin class, run by Mrs Goddard, with a full complement of sleepy but enthusiastic individuals. Miss McNeill also ran two wonderful and relaxing mindfulness sessions – thanks to the weather, the sunshine meditation almost felt like a beach holiday! The week ended with a lovely alfresco breakfast. Miss McNeill provided an upbeat playlist, Mrs Edwards-Clarke and Ms Markland organised fantastic fresh food, while the students and staff in attendance made for a great atmosphere.

There was wonderful engagement from staff and students - we hope to keep some of the activities as weekly optional drop-in sessions. Thank you to everyone who took part and made Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 the success it was! Phoebe Lewis, Teacher of Psychology

Find out more about Wellbeing at Hurst College