A WELLBEING project has been launched to help teenagers learn skills to look after their mental health.
Since October, 2017, Natures Way Foods has been working with Chichester District Council’s Youth Engagement team to deliver the successful Five Ways to Wellbeing project in local primary schools. This year, the project is being offered to secondary school pupils for the first time.
The growth of the project follows a successful pilot with a group of young carers of the same age group, which took place last year. All of the young people who took part reported that they learned new strategies to use in their daily lives.
The project asks young people to focus on five positive actions they can incorporate into their daily lives as individuals and also as part of their communities. They are:
Connect: encouraging children to strengthen and broaden their range of relationships and social networks. It encourages them to spend time with their friends and family while staying safe on the internet.
Be active: stresses that being active is for people of all ages and does not need to be intense physical activity, you just need to raise your heartbeat and have fun.
Keep learning: learning can be taken out of the classroom, skills and ideas can be learned everywhere.
Take notice: asks children to take time to stop, become aware of their surroundings and listen to their thoughts and feelings about them.
Give: focuses on how giving and receiving acts of kindness, whether small or large, can make people feel happier and more satisfied about life.
Activities such as brain aerobics help improve memory, further brain function, and concentration. Songs and dances improve co-ordination, team-work, and powerful relaxation. The sessions also touch on internet safety and include a snack and chat session to explore healthy new tastes.
“We are so pleased with the great results of this programme and the positive impact it’s having on young people’s lives,” said Stephanie Jones, business insight and communications manager at Natures Way Foods.
“When we first partnered with the council’s Five Ways to Wellbeing team we talked about expanding to the local secondary schools and it’s great to see that this is happening.”
Cllr Eileen Lintill, the council’s cabinet member for community services, said: “Five Ways to Wellbeing shows children some essential ways to help them look after their emotional wellbeing both now and as they progress in their lives. Today’s young people experience a variety of pressure, more than ever before, and as a society we are much more aware of how this affects our young people’s wellbeing.”