Students took part in a new physical and mental health workshops run by Erewash School Sport Partnership.
Motivational speaker Ruth Cooper-Dickson, from Champs Consulting, led the session which was attended by students from Friesland School, The Long Eaton School and Wilsthorpe School.
She started by telling students about her own background and how she was bullied at school before going on to university, working for Rolls-Royce and then starting her own business.
Ruth talked about the link between being active and mental health as well as encouraging students to take part in a series of activities.
She said: “I wish I had started running at school as I picked it up in my late 20s and I’ve ran marathons and done lots of extreme sports. I wish I had know how important it was for my mental health to be active and I’m not talking about being the best it’s just taking part in exercise. It’s all about mindfulness and building a healthy brain. If you even take one thing away from this session then that’s my job done.”
Students were asked to clear their minds and focus on their breathing for one minute. They were then asked what they noticed about themselves during that minute and how they felt after they had completed the exercise.
Ruth said: “This is a great exercise to use if you are about to go into an exam or if you are annoyed or stressed at home or have fallen out with someone. It really gives you time to just stop and focus on your breathing and acknowledge how you feel.”
Students were asked in groups to write down what it meant to them to be active and what barriers they faced when trying to be active and how they could overcome them.
Ruth talked about the link between being active and mental wellbeing as well as discussing anxiety and self-esteem.
Kym Bird, school sport co-ordinator at The Long Eaton School, brought Year 11 students along to the workshop, which took place at Friesland School.
She said: “I think this was a great opportunity for students to discuss any issues that they have as I think we take for granted the pressures that young people are under. Just by attending this session we are creating an open dialogue about mindfulness and mental health and students know that it is ok to talk about it. I hope this gives them the confidence to continue the discussion and we will take what we have learnt here back into school so that even more students can benefit.”
Rhian Lilley, Erewash School Sport Partnership strategic director, said: “Young people today are facing a variety of pressures and as a partnership we want to provide them with the tools to help them deal with those pressures. We had some fantastic feedback from the workshop and hopefully students went away with some strategies which will help them cope with stressful situations. We also want to encourage them to talk about their mental health and to know that they are not alone.”


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