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Mildenhall College Academy tackles mental health issues

Pupils at Mildenhall College Academy helped highlight mental health and wellbeing issues among young people when they took part in a Suffolk-wide survey.

The academy was one of eight in the county to pilot the survey as part of the My Health, Our Future project run by Healthwatch Suffolk. It aims to help schools identify the mental health needs of pupils in a bid to increase support and promote healthy psychological development.

The survey identified the specific mental health needs that pupils at the school need, such as support with exam stress, managing revision and family worries.

Mildenhall College Academy has already taken steps to tackle mental health issues among its pupils through its Skills for Life lessons, in which pupils discuss issues such as sex and relationships, finance and careers, as well as gaining advice and knowledge about what to expect after school life.

Richard Goodenough, Assistant Principal, said:  “As a result of the survey lessons have been re-designed to tackle the issues specific to this academy so that students get the right information they need to be happy and successful.”

And it was lights, camera, action for a group of year 11 pupils taking part in the Skills for Life lessons when BBC Look East visited the academy to film first-hand how the school was dealing with the issues young people face, for its lunchtime and evening news. The class spoke candidly about concerns such as the impact mobile phones have on their lives. 

 Mr Goodenough added: “As an academy we are extremely proud of the students who all conducted themselves impeccably on camera and displayed a mature and professional attitude throughout filming.”

To tackle mental health issues the school also has mental health first aiders, mentoring, community support and worker involvement.

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