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Students in Stevenage took part in a week-long project designed to help improve their mental health.

Feel Good Week aims to increase awareness of mental health support available to young people in Stevenage, and help them to develop healthy strategies to improve and maintain good mental health.

Students from a range of year groups filmed videos in November 2023, covering the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ which are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, and Give. The five ways to wellbeing are a five-step framework for people to use to help improve their mental health and wellbeing.

The videos explained in detail why each of the five steps are an important part of mental health, for example; by highlighting the importance of connecting with others, and how physical activity can have a positive impact on mental health.

The videos were then shown in schools during Feel Good Week, which took place between 5-9 February.

Nine schools took part in the project: The Leys Primary School, Almond Hill Junior School, St. Margaret Clitherow School, Featherstone Wood Primary School, St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School, Peartree Spring Primary School, Barnwell Middle School and Thomas Alleyne Academy.

The project was funded by Hertfordshire County Council, and organised by Stevenage Borough Council and the Stevenage Schools Parliament. The aim of the project was to address health inequality in Stevenage and encourage more people to seek mental health support when needed.

Councillor Sandra Barr, Portfolio Holder for Co-operative Council and Neighbourhood Councils, said:

“It was a pleasure to champion this project along with the Stevenage Schools Parliament. We all know how important our mental health is, and the 5 ways of wellbeing project is designed to help young people get the most out of life and feel happier, equipping them with the tools they need now and in the future.

“By incorporating the five principles into daily life, we know that young people can be more resilient, balance their emotions, and improve their mental health.”

Davinder Khangura, Headteacher of The Leys Primary and Nursery School and Chair of the Schools Parliament, said:

“Young people’s mental health has been highlighted as an area of focus by both secondary and primary pupils in Stevenage Pupil Parliament. The idea of ‘Feel Good week’ was introduced by two ex-pupils from The Leys Primary school, who created a whole school plan for all schools to use, based on the NHS’ 5 ways to wellbeing. The aim of this week was to raise the profile of both mental and physical wellbeing across all secondary and primary schools.; connecting with others, being active, taking notice to understand that we are all still learning and finally giving to others to show empathy.

“By driving this simple concept in schools, we are hoping to improve the mental health of young people by strengthening their understanding as well as refining and embedding strategies to improve the lives of young people.”