As a group of former teachers and mental health professionals, Delphis were pleased to support the launch of the MedEquip4kids Hummingbird project last Thursday. The Hummingbird project, in conjunction with the University of Bolton, aims to help young people develop grit, determination and a growth mindset – crucial skills for coping with the demands of the modern world.
The keynote speech was given by the Metro Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, whose heartfelt comments on the mental health of young people showed that there are those in power who really do want to make a difference.
One of Andy’s pledges is to tackle the growing problem of mental ill health. In a recent interview, he suggested one of the major problems is that people bottle up stress because of a stigma surrounding mental illness. Challenging this is essential, he said at the launch last Thursday. “There’s a growing call from young people for more support with their own mental health and wellbeing, their own resilience, to navigate what out there is an increasingly challenging world.”
Burnham believes that schools have a huge role to play in helping young people cope better with the demands of modern life, and he is increasingly concerned that they appear to be more like exam factories than the nurturing places they should be. Having worked as a teacher myself, I’m sad to say that his assessment is true. Although teachers try to create a positive, supportive and creative environment for their students, getting your students through exams is the number one priority.
At Delphis we don’t want schools to be exam factories and we don’t want children to be deprived of the emotional support they need. We believe changing school culture starts with ensuring that teachers themselves are healthy, positive and able to deal with the challenges the profession throws at them. After all, how can a group of over-worked, over-stressed and under-valued teachers provide the best learning experience for their students? In fact studies show that teacher stress has a detrimental affect on pupils’ achievement. In such a challenging profession, it is no wonder that record numbers of teachers are burnt-out and leaving for the sake of their health.
This is why at Delphis we are developing a workshop to improve the mental health of teachers. We want to equip teachers and schools with the tools they need to create a mentally healthy working environment. This will enable teachers to do the best for their students, which in turn will allow students to perform to the best of their abilities. It really is a win-win situation.
If you work in a school and would like to know more, come along to our Mental Health for Managers workshop in York on Thursday 23 November 2017. Places are limited to 25 and you can book securely online now. We look forward to meeting you there.