BLG Mind launches mental health programme for secondary school pupils

Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind has launched a new mental health initiative called Minds Up for pupils at two Bromley secondary schools following the tragic deaths of two local young people.

The Minds Up programme was made possible through donations made by the families of Oliver Stubbs and Laura Harrington, who were both former pupils at Bromley secondary schools.

The scheme, which was launched in September 2021 and will run until June 2022, has been entirely funded by money raised by their families and members of the public.

BLG Mind mental health trainer Kirat Kalyan with pupils at Newstead Wood School.

Charlotte Fletcher, Head of Development for BLG Mind, said: “Thanks to the generous donations raised in memory of Laura and Oliver, we have been able to create Minds Up to support the mental wellbeing of students at Eden Park High and Newstead Wood schools.

“We are honoured and touched that Laura and Oliver’s families have entrusted BLG Mind to deliver this support, and that, at a hugely difficult time for them, they are thinking of the mental wellbeing of other young people.”

In a joint statement, Sharon and Richard Stubbs, the parents of Oliver Stubbs, commented: “We’re really pleased that young people in these schools will have access to such vital mental health support. Our wish is that this project will help prevent any more unnecessary deaths.”

BLG Mind lead mental health trainer Charlotte Crowe, left, joins Kirat in delivering the mental wellbeing session at Newstead Wood School.

Minds Up aims to increase awareness of stress, wellbeing and mental health in the school community. The content of the programme was informed by workshops held by BLG Mind Mental Health Training team with teaching and pastoral staff as well as a cross-section of young people from each school.

The sessions will be delivered by BLG Mind trainer Kirat Kalyan, who has substantial experience of working with young people and has developed a programme appropriate for the differing needs of pupils in Year 7 through to Year 13.

Kirat said: “We may only be two weeks into the project but it has been an absolute joy facilitating the growth and seeing those lightbulb moments for the students across the two schools.

“We are only just getting started.”

In addition to receiving mental health training, every pupil will receive details of organisations they can contact should they need help, as well as the staff in their schools who can support them.

Laura’s siblings to run half marathon in her memory

Laura Harrington’s siblings Fiona and Geoff took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 10 October in memory of their sister and to raise further funds for the Minds Up programme. If you would like to sponsor them, please visit their Virgin Money Giving page.

Further information

Our mental health trainers help organisations create environments where people feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about mental health issues. We have a range of ready-to-go courses and can also create bespoke packages. Please see our Mental Health Training section or email mhtraining@blgmind.org.uk for more information.

If you would like further information on the Minds Up programme, please contact Charlotte Fletcher, Head of Development: email Charlotte.fletcher@BLGMind.org.uk.