Last night’s CIE event focused on the topic of mental health in schools. We heard from 3 excellent speakers and enjoyed time to chat and pray with one another.

Vicky Martin spoke first from her experience as a mental health chaplain. She shared some very practical advice helping us to understand mental health better as well as outlining how we can help. Unfortunately 69% of young people suffering with poor mental health say that fear of stigma prevents them talking to their friends about how they’re feeling. We need to do all we can in school to stop the stigma and promote honest conversations.

Next we heard from a student called Lauren. She told us about a friend who had experienced poor mental health and gave us adults these top tips on how to help teenagers who are struggling:

  • Be ok with having an open conversation, even if you don’t know all the answers
  • Recognise that self-harm can be very common amongst teenagers. Don’t be shocked – instead talk to us about it.
  • We know that you won’t be able to do this on your own – it’s ok to seek advice and support

Finally Emma Scrivener talked us through 9 habits for good mental health. We were all frantically trying to note them down – but thankfully she made a blog post on the topic so we can all be reminded of her wise words here!

It was such a valuable evening of open conversations and support. I’m so grateful for those who were able to join us. The evening ended on a slightly sad note as we said goodbye to Kerry who has been instrumental in running the last 10 CIE events. She leaves her job at Brighton & Hove City Mission at the end of the year, we’re grateful for all she has done for CIE and wish her all the best with her new job.