News BlogPosted on: 18/12/2018
Boys and Girls Health Project
As the term comes to an end, so do the boys and girls’ health projects run by the Emotional Support team. The boys’ health project was set up in 2016 by the Emotional Support team after they identified that more girls than boys were accessing the service. Important questions affecting boys’ emotional, physical and mental health were going unanswered for a lot of our boys due to the stigma attached to seeking help and support. The boys’ health project was therefore an opportunity for boys who were deemed the hardest to reach, and therefore the most vulnerable, to come together for one session a week over ten weeks to gain information about issues that affect them as young men. Due to the success of the boys’ project, a girls’ health project with the same aims was set up in 2017; the end of this term saw the conclusion of the fifth project for the boys and the third for the girls, with the intention to start the sixth and fourth respectively with a new group of pupils next term.
So far approximately 100 boys and girls have benefited from the projects, where they have received workshops on healthy relationships, inspiring change, anger management, substance misuse, mental health, suicide awareness, child sexual exploitation, county lines, testicular and breast cancer, confidence and self-esteem, racism and building resilience. Questionnaires and evaluations were completed with the pupils before and after the workshops to gauge their level of benefit. Interestingly, questionnaires completed with the boys during projects 1-4 showed that many of the boys in the group had stated that they would like support with identifying things they could do in their spare time suggesting that, despite the rise in the use of technology amongst young people, they not only identify this as a problem (in terms of mental health) but also that intrinsically they are still lonely. Evaluations completed with the fifth group of boys showed that the three areas in which they felt their knowledge had grown the most was county lines, boys’ CSE, and confidence and self-esteem.