"Always ask for help.
Always try to talk to someone about how you feel"
These were the very wise and enlightened words of just one young Canons student, written down onto a leaf shaped note and added to a huge wellbeing tree which grew and flourished throughout the last day of our Mental Health Week.
So successful was this tree activity, with so many truly inspiring, thought provoking and caring thoughts noted down, that the whole tree display was carefully removed from the wall in the hall where it had 'grown', and transplanted to a large corridor display board near room 4, where everyone can now view it.
This tree was just one of many ideas, thoughts and concepts of mental health and wellbeing which ran though all lessons and subjects throughout our Mental Health week. That last week of the half term also saw many wellbeing based special events, visitors and activities.
Monday saw a Student Cake Bake Sale pop up in the main school corridor.
It was crewed by our students and drew large and hungry crowds of fellow students at break and lunchtime, all keen for a cake or cookie to keep them going through their learning.
The Student Cake Bake sale made an impressive £74 for charity.
A similar but Staff Room based cake sale for the staff saw many new year diets go out the window, but a further £100 added to our running total for charity!
Wednesday witnessed a huge array of special lunchtime activities for our students to have a go at if they so wished.
These included Mindful Colouring...
and Mindful Listening...
Also available to try was air clay modeling, language games, virtual trips, 'what matters to me' collages and Meditation/Pranayama breath control sessions.
Thursday was the day of our huge Mental Health Fair.
We were joined for the day by wonderful representatives from many charities and organisations all involved in the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
All of our students, from every year group, had their time to visit the fair, meet and chat with the visitors, stroke the support dogs and add their own special words and thoughts to our Wellbeing Tree.
Our visitors included Hiit (High Intenstity Interval Training) boxing with 'Sweet Science', to relieve stress, get anger out of your system and get some exercise all in one!
'Pets as Therapy' brought along four beautiful therapy dogs, animals with a natural disposition and special training to particularly help people with anxiety or loneliness.
Also visiting us that day were mental Health Support Teams CAMHs, The Josh Hanson Trust, Harrow Horizons, Brook, Harrow Young Foundation, Harrow Young Carers and the Samaritans.
Ron Levin from the Samaritans said,
"It was lovely to meet you all and it was great to spend a day engaging with staff and pupils. We were made to feel very welcome and it felt so worthwhile to be here alongside the other organisations".
We are extremely grateful to Ron and everybody else who came along to help with the finale of our Mental Health Week.
Thanks guys. You're great!
All of the money raised by the school community over this week will be donated to several of the fantastic charities who helped us this week and work tirelessly with young people, their wellbeing and their mental health.
Mental Health is the health of your mind, rather than your body.
Good mental health means generally being able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. It included recognising if you are feeling sad, or anxious or stressed, which are all natural feelings, but also recognising how to reduce, cancel and deal with these feelings.
Wellbeing is the general feeling of having good mental health.
Good wellbeing means you are in a state of feeling good, positive and able to cope with the normal stresses of life.
Mindfulness is the natural human ability to be fully present of where we are and what we are doing.
If you are engrossed in a book, or concentrating on a jigsaw, or focused on a craft or hobby, you are in a state of mindfulness. When in this state, worries and stresses are often temporarily forgotten and your mind has a chance to relax and take it easy. Periods of mindfulness are good for us all, good for our wellbeing and our mental health.