What is ‘Its’ Good to Talk’?
Most schools fulfil the national requirement to discuss mental health with their students, however, it is often a box ticking exercise, a bolt on to the PSHE curriculum and crucially, it often talks about mental health as a condition that affects others and that is treatable and once it is ‘covered’ in the curriculum, it is not revisited. Pupils are told not to shout, swear and get angry, but are often not taught alternative ways to express themselves, how to calm down and how to have a difficult conversation. Our programme aims to not only educate students about mental health illnesses, but to offer coping strategies, teach pupils how to express their feelings and give pupils the confidence to succeed in life beyond school.
‘Its good to talk’ is a programme designed to normalise talking about mental health amongst teenage boys who often struggle to vocalise their feelings and emotions or seek help when they need it. The programme teaches about a wide range of mental health conditions including OCD, panic attacks, phobias, anxiety and depression and their symptoms and treatments. It also offers practical ways of coping with them, knowing when, where and how to seek help and looks in depth at various support networks such as Young Minds or The Samaritans. As well as teaching pupils about common mental health conditions, our course teaches boys how to address their own feelings; with sessions on confidence, how to vocalise feelings in a calm manner, how to calm down, how to express empathy, support others and to have difficult conversations .
What are the Key Aims of ‘Its Good to Talk’?
To teach pupils how to respond in difficult situations, how to express their opinion and how to show their support to others,
To build confidence and resilience, looking at body language, the importance of standing tall and making eye-contact and etiquette in certain situations.
To teach pupils how to articulate their thoughts and express themselves in a calm and coherent manner.
To educate pupils on the main mental health conditions, how to spot them, the physical changes on the body and where to seek help.
To provide practical strategies to support with the short-term effects of mental health disorders such as massaging pressure points and breathing techniques.