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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Pupils challenged to Mind their Matter

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) has joined forces with local schools and colleges to develop a short programme of activities for pupils to raise awareness of dementia.

The Mind your Matter programme was developed in response to the government’s challenge around creating Dementia-friendly communities and to tie in with World Mental Health Day on October 10, which this year focuses on older adults and mental health.

Ninestiles Academy in Acocks Green is one of the first schools to get on board with the project, which aims to get pupils and staff talking about mental health.

Nursing staff from BSMHFT have already supported the school in delivering an introductory session around mental health, which will be followed by a further, more detailed session around dementia.
Alongside this, pupils are also being asked to think creatively about compassion through a poster competition.

Not only will the project help to challenge some of the stigma associated with mental illness, but it also aims to develop the future healthcare workforce by shaping attitudes and values of children and young people towards any person with a mental health problem.

Linda Playford, Nurse Consultant at BSMHFT said “By developing projects like Mind your Matter it gives us the opportunity to connect with young people and to get them to start talking about mental health.

Dementia affects many families across the country so it’s important to raise awareness and explain more about the condition, especially at an early age”.

Christine Quinn, Executive Principal at Ninestiles Academy commented “I think it’s really important to learn about mental health and this programme is a great way to get the message out to young people in particular.

By talking about some of the issues and tackling the myths it gives our pupils a greater understanding of mental health”.

The programme will be rolled out across other schools and colleges during October and if successful will be built upon further.