Acknowledging the importance of mental health education in schools

    Antonia Beary Mayfield School
    Mayfield School Headmistress Antonia Beary with pupils

    Mayfield School has launched a series of Life Skills for Parents lectures with the first focusing on the vital issue of improving communication skills and building pupils’ confidence and self-esteem. The Times finds out more

    One of the most influential bloggers on addressing mental health issues in students, Grace Barrett from the Self-Esteem Team, was invited along to Mayfield School at the end of last month to host a special talk for parents, students, staff and other teachers from local schools on building self-confidence in educational establishments.

    Grace and her Self-Esteem Team co-founders, Natasha Devon and Nadia Mendoza, set up their website with one aim: To bring positive mental health to the nation. Their #letters2tess campaign sees them sending daily letters to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to meet them in order to revolutionise the education system and introduce mental health literacy into schools.

    So far, they have delivered lectures to in excess of 70,000 teenagers in both state and independent education.

    According to a spokesperson for the school, the Mayfield audience were highly impressed with Grace’s talk and advice, which gave tips on everything from how to gain more confidence to trying to see things from a different perspective, where possible.

    Parents and guests also welcomed the opportunity to ask questions on subjects ranging from exam stress, mobile phone use and how to communicate with teenagers.

    The Head of Mayfield School’s Life Skills, Mrs Pippa Whitby, commented: “It was great to see so many parents interested in their daughters’ mental health.”

    She added: “With so many questions answered, I’m sure we will all be adapting some of the ways we talk to and help our girls.”

    Mayfield School Headmistress Antonia Beary is looking forward to welcoming the Self-Esteem Team back to talk to the girls: “The way in which we empower our young people to address these challenges is crucial.

    And how parents and schools work together to help provide them with the tools they need to respond is just as important. There are no straightforward answers, but one thing is clear: Communication and openness is the best way forward.”