Celebrating positive mental health and wellbeing
Last week (15-19 May) was Mental Health Awareness Week.
#TalkAwayDontWalkAway is The Courtyard’s award-winning mental health awareness project. With the support of Herefordshire Community Foundation and Herefordshire Mind, The Courtyard’s Education team are able to provide the #TalkAwayDontWalkAway Mental Health Project for schools and youth groups. Using drama, practical exercises and games, children explore what mental health is. They also look at ways that they can look after their mental health and promote positive wellbeing. Since 2018, we have been able to work with many schools, colleges and youth groups across Herefordshire to raise awareness of what mental health is, promote ways we can look after it and what to do if needing extra support. Thanks to funding from The Eveson Trust, we have been able to work with over twenty schools over the past academic year. To celebrate the achievements of those schools, we held two sharing days at The Courtyard.
This year’s project began with a teacher’s induction in January. Our teachers met at The Courtyard to learn more about the project, try our practical workshops and explore the challenges that face our young people. After, The Courtyard visited each school to deliver a practical workshop with each class.
The workshops consist of practical games and interactive exercises to create a fun and safe environment, to learn about mental health. Throughout the workshops, students explore our five steps to positive wellbeing: Be Active, Engage, Interact, Notice and Give.
After the workshop, each class is given access to our digital project which includes even more arts workshops to develop those wellbeing skills! These workshops are delivered by local arts practitioners and mental health organisations. Students also receive activity booklets and badges to reinforce their learning.
The Sharing Days
On Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May, we held our sharing days at The Courtyard! Each class was given the challenge to create a five-minute performance inspired by what they had learnt throughout the project – and the standard was exceptional! Schools wrote their own poems, created dances, films and even wrote sea shanties! Every school created something special whilst communicating important messages surrounding mental health. Guest speaker David Harding from Herefordshire Mind reflected on the evening before each school returned to the stage to sing Be The Best You.
This project is a result of the tremendous team effort of local organisations and Courtyard staff! A big thank you to Herefordshire Mind for helping us develop the project since 2018. Thank you to Strong Young Minds, Yeleni Therapy and CLD Trust for their continued support. Thank you to The Eveson Trust for funding the project, enabling hundreds of children to access the project.
And a big thank you to our marketing, technical and education teams at The Courtyard! The sharing days were spectacular and would not be possible without the hard work and talents of The Courtyard team!
Here are a series of short films by Barrs Court school, Blackmarston school and The Brookfield school in response to the project. It was wonderful to see so much creative talent both online and in person!
You can read more about The Courtyard’s #TalkAwayDontWalkAway mental health project here.