#SpeakYourMind: Leeds children are tackling mental health head on at school

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Schoolchildren in Leeds are tackling mental health through sport as part of a new project.

The group of 10 teenagers, from Brigshaw High School in Allerton Bywater, are currently taking part in a six-week programme of workshops.

Organised by the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Brathay Trust charity, the workshops cover team-building, keeping safe and understanding emotions among other subjects.

The youth programme comes just months after YEP launched our #SpeakYourMind campaign, which is calling on people in Leeds to help break down the damaging social stigma that is surrounding mental health issues.

Fozia Nazneen, who is working with pupils on the project on behalf of Brathay Trust, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Schools have always been on the front line of children’s mental health, increasingly so now. We hope this new partnership means more Leeds youngsters will get the support they need.

The sessions are a mix of outdoor sport and classroom activities designed to boost confidence and encourage team-building with the youngsters.

The progress of the pupils comes during the Mental Health Awareness Week initiative, which is running this week.

Ms Nazneen added: “Without this type of extra intervention some of them would continue to find it difficult to participate in class or to make friends.

“If a young person’s wellbeing is seriously compromised, so is their ability to focus on their learning and achieve their potential.

“It’s something everyone wants to avoid.”

Aliscia Coe, left, is pictured with sister Chelsea, and the Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens awared she was given ten years ago.
Photograph by Richard Walker/ www.imagenorth.net

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