Royston school among those to encourage students to #JustTalk about mental health

PUBLISHED: 12:05 23 November 2019

Hertfordshire County Council's director of public health Jim McManus promoting the #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county council

Hertfordshire County Council's director of public health Jim McManus promoting the #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county council

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Kings James Academy Royston was among a number of schools in the county who took part in a #JustTalk campaign, with the aim to encourage young people to have conversations about mental health.

St Albans schools are taking part in Hertfordshire County Council's #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county councilSt Albans schools are taking part in Hertfordshire County Council's #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county council

More than 70 primary and secondary schools across the county organised various activities last week as part of Herts County Council's award-winning initiative.

KJAR hosted an assembly, while others have been taking PE and art lessons themed around mental health.

More than 70 primary and secondary schools took part in Hertfordshire's award-winning #JustTalk campaign which has been co-designed with young people.

The campaign aims to encourage children and young people to learn how to look after their mental health, and to open up and talk about things that are worrying them before they escalate into a crisis.

Hertfordshire County Council's director of public health Jim McManus promoting the #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county councilHertfordshire County Council's director of public health Jim McManus promoting the #JustTalk campaign. Picture: Herts county council

Young people in Hertfordshire said that exams and tests are their number one worry, so they chose this topic as the theme for the council's annual short film competition.

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Students were invited to come up with a storyboard idea on 'how to cope with exam pressure' with the aim of helping their peers manage stress as the mock exam season approaches.

Winners will get to work with a professional filmmaker to turn their idea into a short film and receive £100 in vouchers.

Competition entry details are available at www.justtalkherts.org where you can also watch last year's brilliant winning films for inspiration.

A free #JustTalk toolkit is also available online to help schools, colleges, sports clubs or any other agency working with young people run activities throughout the week and share the key campaign messages: 'It's 'OK not to be OK' and 'Talking shows strength'.

Herts County Council's director of public health, Jim McManus said: "Schools are important partners in our award-winning Just Talk campaign, actively encouraging children and young people to feel comfortable talking about their mental health and letting them know that it's fine to reach out for support if they are struggling to cope.

"The earlier that young people raise any worries that they may have, whether it's exam stress or relationships with their peers, the earlier something can be done to help."

For more information about the campaign and free downloadable copies of the toolkit and other resources, visit www.justtalkherts.org.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JustTalk.

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