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City of Peterborough Academy Introduces Mental Health Support

City of Peterborough Academy becomes the first School/Academy in the country to give all 900 pupils and staff a form of mental health support.

On #MentalHealthDay, City of Peterborough Academy was graced by YMCA, the founder of the Thrive app and the BBC who documented the launch of app. Thrive is designed to provide mental health support to pupils by allowing them to express their emotions, feelings and concerns all through the comfort of their smartphone/tablet. This process is then followed by a counsellor from YMCA who visits the pupils to personally go into detail about their health.

City of Peterborough Academy has taken the initiative to provide pupils with after-school and well-being clubs. These clubs have had a huge impact on the pupils, so much so that that the pupils claim “…..these well-being clubs and art therapies allow us to be ‘us’”. As a Trust we understand the importance of ensuring our pupils are in environments that allow them to embrace themselves without the need to constantly feel worried that they are being judged for their uniqueness. We believe the only way a pupil will excel in their learning is if they are able to be themselves comfortably, thus diverting their undivided attention to their education.

With the rise in technology, smart phones are now common gadgets amongst pupils. Along with the popularity of social media, young people are actively connecting with one another. However, for those pupils who do not wish to engage in social media as frequently, can understandably feel left out from group conversations and social media related discussions.

Uniting and creating a community

Statistics show that the majority of pupils and even adults are not comfortable expressing their mental health concerns which causes them to bottle up emotions. To combat this, the Thrive app can strengthen the bonds between pupils as an app of this nature resonates with all pupils. Pupils may wish to share the features and experiences they have with the app which can radically shift the perception and perspective on mental health making more pupils aware of the impact their words and actions have on fellow class mates.

Courtesy of the desire to excel and the expectations from family and peers, pupils can find themselves mentally overwhelmed. Therefore, combining the use of mental health support along with an app that can be accessed through their mobile phones makes it readily available and accessible for young people at all times.

The Principal at City of Peterborough Academy, Alex Emmerson, went on to say “these clubs combined with the Thrive app allows for early intervention to uncover any issues the pupils may be experiencing before they manifest”. 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14, which is why an initiative of this nature is so effective at primary and secondary schools.

The after-school clubs allow pupils to unwind and explore their intuition through creative and expressive forms. As a result, these sessions not only alleviate tension and stress but also help pupils find their true passions and talents that may otherwise be hidden or masked by the external environment.

For more information on the thrive app click  here

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