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The mental wellbeing of young people is at the heart of our pastoral care provision and even more important during these unprecedented times. Our proactive approach means we are forever evolving and the creation of our Mental Health Ambassadors is one of the latest additions.

In July 2020, the charity Young Minds held a survey where 80% of respondents believed that the coronavirus pandemic negatively impacted their mental health so we wanted to see what innovative solutions we could come up with.

We have therefore recently been working with the Scottish Mental Health Trainers to train some of our Lower Sixth students who expressed an interest in becoming a Mental Health Ambassador. All the students took part in a virtual two-day training course, where they learnt the core messages of becoming a Mental Health Ambassador: to offer support without judgement; pupil equality; diversity; and the wellbeing indicators of GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child).

This week, we are proud to announce the following students as our Mental Health Ambassadors: Charlotte M, Lottie F, Zoe M, Ella W, Evie P, Liv N, Phoebe M B, Sophie W, Todor D, Fergus B, Alex H and Jack H.

They will all work closely with younger pupils, leading sessions about the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress and other topics related to mental health. Alongside this, our Ambassadors will also have a drop-in sessions in The Virtual Hub, an opportunity for any pupil, regardless of year group, to come and chat to an Ambassador in a calm, quiet space. These sessions will also involve relaxed activities and any pupil at Fettes is welcome to join.

As well as benefitting the wider school community, the training to become a Mental Health Ambassador widens the skill-set of the students involved and opens up opportunities in the world beyond school. We are delighted that we have students keen to make an impact in this area and support the Fettes community.