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Kingston schools tackle teenage mental health

Pupils from Kingston secondary schools will take part in a conference to highlight mental health issues amongst teenagers.

The Hollyfield School in Surbiton will host this week’s event (7 March), designed to increase students’ awareness of common mental health issues in teenagers such as eating disorders, anxiety and depression, helping to overcome stigma and make our schools more ‘mental health friendly’. 

Around 100 students from ten schools will take part in discussions and activities with mental health experts, make a film about mental health and be invited to become mental health ambassadors for their schools 

The conference is organised by Kingston Council Public Health and STEM4, a charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage. 

Councillor Margaret Thompson, Kingston Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Health and Wellbeing, said: 

“Openness about mental health and wellbeing in schools is important so that students and staff can recognise problems early and respond. We want to show young people how they and their schools can support their friends, and this event will give them the knowledge they can share with their peers.”

Stephen Chamberlain, Headteacher of The Hollyfield School, said:

“Emotional wellbeing is of paramount importance in today's challenging world. We hope that this conference will give all of our students the tools to be able to identify early signs of mental health issues in themselves and their peers thus enabling them to achieve their full potential.”

Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, STEM4 CEO and Founder, said:

“Our student conferences encourage teenagers to be proactive, open and take early steps to look after their mental health in school and in later life.”

For more information about STEM4 and its work go to www.stem4.org.uk.