Student's scheme to help with mental health

Students have launched a mental health initiative helping students recognise the signs and access support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Student Elin Jones and director of rugby Alex Murphy from Ellesmere College
Student Elin Jones and director of rugby Alex Murphy from Ellesmere College

Mental Health at Ellesmere Support System (MHESS) is a student led initiative by Ellesmere College year 13 student Elin Jones, a team of sixth formers and Alex Murphy, director of rugby at the College.

Mr Murphy said: “The scheme is up and running and raising awareness about general mental health and well being for students as well as the problems associated with the tighter restrictions students are facing during these unprecedented times of Covid.

“People often find it difficult to identify and discuss things which are worrying them but it’s good to talk - and that is one of the most important messages we need to get across.

“One of the other problems that young people experience is knowing where to go when dealing with these difficult thoughts and emotions.”

The idea behind the scheme was put forward by Elin and Sixth Formers who felt that as well as supporting students with their overall mental health and wellbeing, it was also a safety net system in place to avoid a potentially bad situation from becoming much worse.

Mr Murphy said students would have a number of options of where to go in the support structure, one of which is a student support team providing an approachable source of guidance which acts as a stepping stone between pupils and staff.

He added: “It’s not difficult to understand the risks to mental health - something which can creep up on you without being aware of it, which is what prompted the launch of the scheme.

“We have been living with Coronavirus for many months and there doesn’t look like being an end to it any time soon. It means having to adhere to rules which can have a debilitating effect on health and wellbeing.

“Problems can arise in several ways, including anxiety, stress and depression so we must do everything we can to safeguard the health of our students. The support system will monitor, help and advise while raising awareness of the risks to people who are having to deal with everyday issues as well as the increased isolation we are all facing at this time."

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