This week: World mental health day, COGA Luncheon and AGM, Macmillan coffee morning
Promoting good mental health at Camden School for Girls
To mark World Mental Health Day – 10 October tutors have shown students a very good 5-minute video created by Young Minds in their registration time -
We also have an extensive mental health section in our school library, from which students can borrow books and they have been reminded who they can speak to in school if they are concerned about themselves or a friend.
Relaxation and calm are promoted through our mindfulness colouring books, also in registration time, and Y9 and Y7 tutors have been talking to their forms about their positivity diaries and why it is good to remind ourselves about the things in our lives that are going well.
Our First Aid Fortnight will be held again in February, and during that time we spend a whole week exploring all aspects of mental health, including Mental Health First Aid, and how this can help.
In PSHEE this week, the Y7s had a lesson on Mental health - what it means, the mental health continuum, managing risks and building up their protective factors. They have been set a 3 week journal in which they have to record the following daily: 3 gratitudes, 1 thing they learned, a quick comment about their day (focussing on the positive things that happened), a record of their sleep and any time spent on mindfulness, and a record of any acts of kindness they did that day. Focussing on these areas has been shown to improve mental health and if they keep it up for three weeks then it has been shown to encourage a shift to thinking more positively about challenges in their lives and increased resilience. The Y9s had a similar lesson at the start of term and were set the same task then.
The Y10s' lesson this week explored managing stress associated with tests and studying and practical strategies for overcoming that. This was a follow up to their sessions with the Educational Psychologist last year.
We have produced our own leaflet about ways of supporting good mental health, see below and on the website.
In addition, we have a leaflet for Sixth Formers about strong mental health, see below and on the Sixth Form website.
Finally, senior prefects sold cakes on World Mental Health Day to raise money for Young Minds and they're also selling green ribbons from the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness and to fundraise. They raised a total of £55.
Order your green ribbon to raise awareness and support good mental health for all. All proceeds go towards our vital work, focused on finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems.
The green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health awareness. By wearing a green ribbon pin badge, you'll be joining the growing movement for good mental health for all.
How to get help for yourself or a friend
If you don’t want to talk to anyone at school, phone numbers and contact details are available for organizations outside the school:
Just feeling low?
There’s always someone to talk to. If you’d like to talk to another student, the Head Girl Team runs ‘Quick Chat and a Kitkat’ - a chance to talk to another student about things that may be bothering you.
Join a club - there are many opportunities to join clubs in PE, music and drama, and this can be a great way to improve how you feel. Or join school council, join a homework club to get extra help with any schoolwork that may be a problem, or get involved in one of the many other activities the school offers.
There is more information in our Mental Health Policy on the school website.
COGA Luncheon and AGM
On Saturday 6th October members of the Camden Old Girls Association met to enjoy lunch and their AGM. It was delightful to meet around 50 women who attended the school years ago, fascinating to hear their memories of previous building projects and to find out how their lives developed after leaving the school. They have produced a marvellous newsletter which contains even more reminiscences and links with past students. Julia Griffiths, Chair of COGA, sent the following comments:
“Last Saturday 6th October COGA (Camden's Old Girls Association) held their AGM and Luncheon at school.
It was attended by about 50 members and we were delighted that Ms Kitcatt, our President, was able to be there. In her speech, she outlined some of the innovative projects undertaken in the past year and highlighted the highly gratifying examination results at GCSE and A level.
We were delighted to hear her news and wish to congratulate you all. Camden continues to be a very special school so keep going, keep the flag flying!”
Macmillan coffee morning
Many thanks to Mary Kavanagh, our tireless fund-raiser, who collected an astonishing £1,461 to support the charity last Friday 5th October. Mary co-ordinated and inspired the event, inviting parents to come along and enjoy coffee and cakes and to find out more about the work carried out by Macmillan.
Mary sent the following message:
“I started out with a total of £250-£300 in my head - never did I envisage that we would raise nearly £1,500! The morning was brilliant with a great atmosphere and I am delighted with how it went.
This event was only made possible by the incredible help and support from the SLT team, school staff, Nicky, Tara, parents/carers and students.
My gratitude and thanks to all of you, for baking, donating and coming along”