Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News Latest News

Academy Prefects Make Mental Health Headway

E-mail Print

Academy Prefects Make Mental Health HeadwayThe Senior Pupil Leadership Team at Bangor Academy has a clear focus for their work with junior pupils in the next academic year. They want to drive away stigma and make talking about mental health the norm rather than a hidden problem.

These Sixth formers should be relaxing on their  summer holidays following the end of their AS examinations but instead they decided that their priority was preparing for a new mental health initiative they want to launch in October 2018. The prefects  completed a two-day Mental Health First Aid Training course run by the Public Health Agency. The aim of the training was to equip them with a sound basic knowledge of Mental Health Issues and where to signpost those in need for professional help. Andrea Kearns and Caroline McCreight from the PHA delivered the training and were very impressed with the Academy pupils, the youngest to be trained in Northern Ireland to date. 

The initiative began when  Academy’s Head boy and his Deputy, Cody Moody and Jack Hamilton, recognised the need to target mental health issues positively and in a male friendly way as boys are, quite simply, less likely to ask for help. It took little persuasion to get the rest of the Sixth Form Senior Leadership team involved. The first obstacle was funding the training so the prefects ran a non-uniform day in school to pay for it and approached the Public Health Agency with their proposal, the 'Mandown@BASFC' campaign. This training is just the first step however as the teenagers are now busy planning a launch event for the school in October 2018 called ‘Sons and Others’;  an evening full fun and entertainment but also some more ‘male friendly ‘ways to  raise awareness and access support so expect to see a programme including music, sport, relaxation, comedy and creativity.

Details about the ‘Sons and Others’ event and the launch of the Mandown@BASFC app will be available on the school website and social media platforms in September. The Academy’s School Nurse, Kerry Timan said:

“This pupil-led campaign looks like it is going to be a powerful way to target the mental health issues we are all concerned about tackling in schools. 

Well done to them all. I am very proud of this team of fantastic young people.”