There are many things you don’t know about your peers: what they are going through, life at home and any troubles they might have. One of the biggest things is mental health. Unlike a cut on a leg, you cannot see if some one is ill mentally. Mental health can be an issue in schools, due to the fact that people are too scared to tell anyone, but what they don’t always seem to remember is that they have a pastoral team to talk to. Every year group has a pastoral team, and everyone’s pastoral teams are amazing.
Another thing about mental health is that you don’t know who is ill. This means that you should not joke about with things like ‘my OCD is being really annoying today’ because someone who has a serious mental health issue (or OCD, which is being used as the example) might take that personally and become extremely upset about it.
However, you can help. All you have to do is be there for them, be their friend and be there for them when they need you. If you feel like something is wrong, don’t be afraid to tell someone you trust, its the right thing to do, even if they are annoyed at you when you tell someone.
If you are someone who is suffering, don’t be afraid to tell someone as there are many people here to listen to you, school is meant to be a place where you feel safe and happy. This is what all staff try to put out. If you are ill, speak to someone and make Walbottle your safe place again. Don’t let it stay secret, so that only you knows what is happening.
A school blog post on mental health by Moira, Year 7