Schools initiative to aid mental health

Pupils from Kelso High School are pictured at the See Me launch event with council leader Councillor Shona Haslam.
Pupils from Kelso High School are pictured at the See Me launch event with council leader Councillor Shona Haslam.

Scottish Borders Council has launched a new mental health initiative in all nine of the region’s high schools as part of its commitment to supporting the well-being of young people.

See Me builds on the work that the council and its partners have done over a number of years and will complement a range of other initiatives that aim to build emotional resilience and confidence in young people.

Borders is the first Scottish council to commit to taking a whole authority approach and has worked with NHS Borders through the Children and Young People’s Leadership Team to develop a number of key aims for all secondary settings.

These include ensuring that young people and staff develop feel more confident in talking about mental health and where to seek help. Schools and youth settings will also be encouraged to develop an openness when it comes to talking about mental health and to reducing stigma and discrimination.

Scottish Mental Health First Aid Peer Support Training is being delivered to approximately 800 S6 pupils while teachers and partner providers have also engaged in Scottish Mental Health First Aid Training.

Councillor Shona Haslam, council leader, said: “In this, the Year of Young People, it feels particularly important that we do all we can to give our young people and the staff who work with them the tools, training and opportunities they need to develop emotional resilience and also to make sure they know what support is available and where they can turn to for help if life should become difficult.”

It was also announced that the Council has committed additional funding to enable third sector provider Quarriers to develop a resilience practitioner service that will become available in each of the nine high schools during the 2018/19 school session. The initiative will form part of the emotional health and wellbeing service that Quarriers is currently implementing.