TO MARKÂ National Mental Health Awareness Week, Tonbridge Grammar School took part in a range of fun races and challenges in order to raise awareness about the importance of mental well-being.
A programme of events designed by the students helped focus attention on different types of mental health issues and illness, and ways in which to support those susceptible to or suffering from them.
The school’s week of activities started with students and staff baking cakes and cookies with a mental health theme. These were sold at lunchtime to raise money for the charity MIND.Â
There followed a Run for your Life Relay, which saw all the school taking part in the event on the grammar’s 200m athletics track, where each lane represented each of the school’s six houses.Â
The aim of the race was to keep each relay baton in motion for the whole lunch hour. They managed to achieve this, as well as covering a combined distance equivalent to one and a third marathons.Â
The race was started by semi-professional ladies footballer Vicky Ashton-Jones of Brighton & Hove Albion. She brought along the Women’s FA Cup trophy and gave inspirational talks to the students.Â
Students also took on staff in a table tennis challenge, and danced to choreographed videos being displayed on a huge screen.Â
To finish the week, which ran from May 8-14, staff took on sixth formers in the second annual Mental Games challenge, where participants took part in a range of problem-solving games.
Tonbridge Grammar School’s Head Student, Jade Coatsworth, commented: “I’m incredibly proud of the way in which our entire school community came together in order to raise awareness and help to remove the stigma around discussing mental health issues.”
Student Leader for Well-being Megan Arnold added: “The enthusiasm all the students showed for the activities was amazing. I am so pleased with the involvement students from across the school gave to the events and couldn’t be more proud of everyone who worked so hard.”
Throughout the week, a Tree of InspirationÂ ‘grew’ in reception. It was made up of leaves with comments from students about Mental Health and how to promote strength and resilience. Sixth-formers also delivered assemblies on positive tips on how to look after mental health.
Deputy Head Teacher Chris Fitt said the week was a ‘lovely way’ of complementing their ongoing programme of raising awareness of mental health and resilience. “The fact it was led by students for students made it even more effective.”