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Mental Health Curriculum

‘Its Good to Talk’: The Mental Health Curriculum

What is ‘Its’ Good to Talk’?

We are extremely proud be delivering our Mental Health Curriculum. Our boys have lived through one of the most difficult and unusual periods in living memory and national data shows that mental health amongst teenagers is at an all time low. Our Mental Health Curriculum has been written in school and is specifically designed to normalise talking about mental health amongst young men who often struggle to vocalise their feelings and emotions or seek help when they need it.

 The programme teaches about a wide range of mental health conditions including OCD, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders, anxiety and depression and their symptoms and treatments. It also offers practical ways of coping with them, knowing when, where and how to seek help and looks in depth at various support networks such as Young Minds or The Samaritan as well as our in school mental health team.

As well as teaching students about common mental health conditions, the course teaches boys how to address their own feelings; with sessions on confidence, how to vocalise feelings in a calm manner, how to calm down, how to express empathy, support others and to have difficult conversations . There are also sessions on grief and bereavement.

The programme will be launched this week and will continue through form time sessions at least fortnightly until well into next year and beyond. Student well being is a huge part of the school ethos and we hope that this programme gives students the confidence to speak out when they need help, without the stigma that has often been associated with mental health.

What are the Key Aims of ‘Its Good to Talk’?

-To normalise a dialogue about mental health and to remove any stigma attached to it.

-To educate the students on the main mental health conditions, how to spot them, the physical changes on the body and where to seek help.

-To teach students how to respond in difficult situations, how to express their opinion and how to show their support to others.

-To build confidence and resilience, looking at body language, the importance of standing tall and making eye-contact and etiquette in certain situations.

-To teach students how to articulate their thoughts and express themselves in a calm and coherent manner.

-To provide practical strategies to support with the short term effects of mental health disorders such as massaging pressure points and breathing techniques.

 

For more information about what we are teaching, please check out the Parents in Partnership section of the website under ‘mental health’. If you have any concerns about your sons’ mental health, please contact the school and together we will work to support your son. For more information on the Mental Health Curriculum, please contact Mrs Alexa Oshodi, Assistant Headteacher a.oshodi@tgbs.co.uk.

 

Form Time Session Outline (sessions may not be taught in this order)

 

Session

Outline

1

Why its’ good to talk.

Launching programme, encouraging talking and emphasizing the benefits of sharing problems.  

2

Spotlight: Anxiety

Overview and debunking myths about anxiety and how it manifests.

3

Fake it ‘til you make it it: Confidence.

Looking at the importance of standing tall, eye contact and facial expressions to command attention even when you want to hide.

4

What is normal anyway?

Examining when usual worries become a problem and looking at how widespread issues are with all of us experiencing this at one time in our lives.

5

Spotlight: Panic Attacks

What happens during a panic attack, the physical changes, practical ways to help yourself or others if they experience this.

6

Stress Relief: Just breathe!

Examining a range of breathing techniques and acupressure methods to be used to help an onset of anxiety. Practical session.

7

What does grief feel like?

A study of the different ways in which people grieve and the struggle people have to acceptance.

8

Feel, Felt Found…showing empathy.

Helps to students to understand an appropriate way of responding to difficult situations such as bereavement, worry or a change in circumstances and how to help others who are struggling.

9

Spotlight: OCD

An outline of how OCD manifests itself and the ways in which it can be overcome.

10

The physiology of anger.

The physical changes in the body that happen when someone is angry and very short term ways to calm down before anger erupts.

11

Spotlight: PTSD

An outline of PTSD, how common it is, what causes it and how it can be overcome.

12

What do we do: Young Minds

An overview of the charity young minds and what they do/how they can help.

13

Spotlight: Depression

An outline of depression, signs, symptoms and cures.

14

Is medicine always best?

Looking at how medicine works, particularly MH drugs and how they affect the body, along with alternative therapies.

15

Having that difficult conversation.

Outlining how students can assert themselves appropriately, how to respond if you are caught off guard and how to tell someone if you are struggling or need help.

16

Spotlight: Personality Disorders

An overview of bipolar and schizophrenia, common misconceptions and treatments.

17

Gone but not forgotten: Overcoming grief.

Looking at different ways people live with grief and ways to remember as well as the normality of trigger moments.

18

Saying sorry: When you shouldn’t.

How to be assertive and to try and overcome the guilt of things that are beyond your control.

19

Healthy body, healthy mind.

Looking at diet, exercise and ways to encourage natural endorphins including brain foods and the science behind it.

20

Spotlight: Phobias

Almost everyone has a phobia, this session examines where they come from, the most common ones and therapies to use if they interfere in everyday life.

21

What do we do: Kooth

An overview of the charity Kooth and how they can help

22

The body language of success.

Exploring what your body language says about you and how people might make a judgement before you even open your mouth.

23

Spotlight: Eating disorders

An overview of eating disorders and low body image. How they manifest and how they are treated as well as how to support someone who struggles with food.

24

Wrong place: Wrong time: sensing the tone.

How to respond appropriately to different situations, when humour is appropriate and when it isn’t!

25

What do we do: Samaritans

An overview of what the Samaritans does, why it was set up and how it can help.

26.

Removing the Stigma

A session outlining what stigma is and how talking through things can normalise MH.

27.

How to ask for help.

A brief session outlining how and where students can go for help if they feel they need a safe space to talk.