With it being Mental Health Awareness Week, and as part of our Y8 Work Experience, we visited The Farne to ask our Mental Health First Aiders, Mrs Connor and Ms Tierney about the work they do. We spoke about mental health, the broad range of topics and support The Farne offers and how they help the young people of St Cuthbert's. Here's what we learnt from our chat.
Written by Scarlett D and Ephraim N in Year 8
Mrs Connor and Ms Tierney, St Cuthbert's Mental Health First Aiders.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional and social wellbeing and how we handle stress or make choices.
Physical health is about your body’s physical state, whereas mental health is to do with your brain and your feelings. Mental health is your emotions and what you are feeling whether it’s anger, sadness, anxiety, or even positive emotions, they are all to do with your mental health.
What should you do if you're worried about your mental health?
If you’re worried about mental health, you can speak to a trusted adult, including a teacher at school, parent or carer, or anyone you feel comfortable with. As well as this, you can speak to the The Farne team, so you have options of what you can do. The people at The Farne are trained to help you.
Even if you’re scared or embarrassed, a good idea is to go to The Farne team and tell them how you’re feeling: whether you’re sad, you’ve lost a loved one, or feeling down, The Farne is there to help you. When you speak to someone, its almost as if a weight is removed. Speaking to someone removes stress and can relax you.
Who else can you go to if you are struggling with your mental health?
If you are struggling with mental health, you should speak to someone you trust and who you are comfortable with.
If you think it will be easier for you to talk to someone you don’t know or to talk over the phone, instead of in person, there are lots of different people you can call. ChildLine on 0800 1111 is a great example if you do decide to call about any problems. Everything is confidential unless what you tell them is deemed to put you or someone else in danger or at harm.
Why is it so important to talk about your feelings?
Mental health is very important so you shouldn’t keep your feelings bottled up for long. When you do speak about your emotions and feelings it will be like a weight has been lifted. Mental health is an important thing and if you ever feel angry or upset you should always talk to someone about it.
What sort of work does a Mental Health First Aider do at The Farne?
At The Farne, the team work with people 1-1 or in groups. They do all sorts of stuff to help you. You can go and they’ll talk to you about whatever you need. You can talk to them about anything. They also go on trips because it’s not only about feeling sad or down - they help you to maintain your mental health and stay happy.
How do you help people at The Farne?
They comfort people and help students with whatever they’re going through – no matter what. The work they do is extremely helpful to the students at St Cuthbert's, as not many schools are lucky enough to have such a great and supporting team of people, so easily available to them. The students at St Cuthbert's are extremely grateful to have the amazing staff who work daily at The Farne.