08 October 2018
Islanders are being encouraged to get involved in World Mental Health Day this week, which has a focus on young people and mental health in a changing world.
Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois is encouraging teachers and students, as well as all States employees, to take some time out of their day on Wednesday 10 October, to focus on their mental health.
Senator Vallois, who is also the chair of the States Employment Board, would like to see all States employees use the day as an opportunity to focus on their mental health by either doing something for themselves or for others.
Senator Vallois said: “Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time of the year but this Wednesday is an opportunity for everyone to show their support for better mental health and to start looking after their own wellbeing.
“Mental health and wellbeing is one of the top priorities in the proposed Common Strategic Policy. We need to help each other by talking about ways to look after our mental health, especially in our young people, and to help peers, parents and teachers know how to support their friends, children and students. This is the focus for this year’s World Mental Health Day.
“It would be great to see all of our schools, both students and teachers, take time out on their day to mark World Mental Health Day. It could be anything from talking about mental health to doing mindfulness exercises throughout the day.
“Workplaces should also take part in mindfulness exercises, whether it's a few minutes of meditating, healthy eating, or talking about mental health. Workers should share what they are doing with colleagues and on social media to help raise awareness and address stigmas associated with mental health problems.”
More than 3,000 schoolchildren in Jersey were recently asked about their mental and physical health and the results provided a valuable insight into their mental health and wellbeing.
The statistical snapshot of the lives of Island teens shows they are anxious about school work and exams.
World Mental Health Day supports mental health education, awareness and encouragement against social stigma. The day of activities is a prelude to WellFest – the free, day-long event organised by the States of Jersey on Saturday, 27 October at Les Ormes.
It’s the first time WellFest has been organised and it is set up to encompass all aspects of physical, mental and emotional health. On Friday 26 October, Year 7 students will attend WellFest before it is open to the public.
Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “Looking after ourselves is important, and this applies equally to our physical, emotional and mental health. It helps us grow stronger and more able to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to go for help. That’s why events like World Mental Health Day and Jersey Wellfest are great opportunities to ask questions and try out new activities. I’d encourage everyone to get involved on both days.”
There are a number of events planned in Jersey on Wednesday, 10 October to mark World Mental Health Day and copies of the Wellfest programme will be available from all the venues below.
- Adult Mental Health Service (part of Health and Community Services) will have a stand at the front entrance to the General Hospital from 9.00am to 5.00pm
- Jersey Recovery College have three pop-up stands in town at Charing Cross, Broad Street and Marks & Spencer and there will be volunteers on hand to chat to members of the public. This will be an opportunity to find out more about the college and its upcoming courses, and also about mental health awareness. Volunteers will also run a marathon on a treadmill at Charing Cross to raise awareness of the importance of activity for mental health
- Mind Jersey will have a stand at Highlands College Cafeteria from 12.00pm to 1.00pm
- Jersey Wellfest Team will have a stand at the Jersey Library from 9 am to 4 pm (the stand will be manned between 12 noon and 2 pm). There will also be a Virtual Reality for mindfulness and meditation drop-in session in the Godfray Room at Jersey Library, 12.00pm to 1.00pm
- Youthful Minds will have a stand at The Link, Eagle House, Colomberie, from 11 am to 3 pm
- YES (Youth Enquiry Service) will have a stand at The Link, Eagle House, Colomberie, 12pm to 4pm
- Beresford Street Kitchen will be supporting the day