Village schools step up effort to raise awareness for mental health

YMCA Trinity Group offers a range of mental health services to schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as well as...

YMCA Trinity Group offers a range of mental health services to schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as well as further afield in Northamptonshire and Suffolk. Picture: Richard Bailey - Credit: Archant

Schools in our South Cambs villages have been using the COVID-19 uncertainty to raise awareness for positive mental wellbeing and self-care in the lead up to World Mental Health Day, which is today.

YMCA Trinity Group, a charity that helps young people to thrive on their journey to independence, has partnered with mental health campaigns such as IAMWHOLE and Every Mind Matters, to ensure schools are equipped with the skills and strategies to manage mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Barrington CofE, Fowlmere, Foxton, Petersfield CofE and Steeple Morden CofE primary schools have been organising a series of activities – each focusing on different themes or audiences.

The five schools will be engaging with staff, parents and pupils to encourage the whole school community to promote positive mental health, as well as share useful techniques and activities.

Ryan Armes, mental health programme manager for YMCA Trinity Group, said: “With one in eight children having a diagnosable mental health condition, we know that there is a huge need in our schools and organisation for mental health and wellbeing support. We are delighted to be working with these schools as part of our mental health services to raise awareness of this important topic and empowering individuals to look after their wellbeing.”

Laura Penrose, Co-headteacher at Petersfield CofE Primary School in Orwell, said: “We consulted with all of our pupils about their wellbeing and decided to focus on positive thinking as our theme of the campaign. We will engage in activities across the week in accordance with the five ‘Ways to Wellbeing’ and aim to create a class book of feelings, artwork, positive thinking posters, as well as learn new skills to adopt a growth mindset.

“Working collaboratively with YMCA has meant that we can offer our pupils one-to-one therapy, group work and provide access to brand new resources and initiatives, even during challenging periods like lockdown. We are so grateful for their continued, expert support and guidance.”

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Barrington CofE Primary School head Gill Davies said: “The mental health of our whole school community is of paramount importance to Barrington CofE Primary School. We are thrilled to be working with YMCA Trinity Group to provide a whole school approach to wellbeing and offer pathways into specialist support for those that need extra help.”

YMCA Trinity Group offers a range of mental health services to schools in Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Suffolk. Since April 2015, the charity has supported 1,200 children and young people with therapeutic support to tackle their mental health needs, and trained over 3,300 staff.

To find out more about the range of mental health services YMCA Trinity Group provides, contact them on 01733 373187 or email