What We Did
Action Minds was set up 3.5 years ago in All Saints’ School by students, for students. They wanted to destigmatise conversations around mental health and wellbeing and help people realise that it was ‘okay to talk’. In 2014, they secured sponsorship from an ex-pupil whose donations pay for the group to consult a psychiatrist who ensures that what the group do is safe.
They have been interviewed on the local BBC radio station and recognised at external conferences and advisory board meetings. In 2016, they received a York Community Pride Award for their work with young people. As well, over the past 3.5 years, independently with only facilitation by members of staff, the group have created a successful website, carried out surveys of the school population and worked tirelessly to promote mental health and wellbeing in school.
They are an absolutely wonderful, inspiring, motivated, enthusiastic and supportive group of young people who care deeply about the welfare of others in the school community. Even the staff of the school have been so inspired by Action Minds’ actions that we too have decided to set up a group aiming to do exactly the same as the pupils’ one: Action Minds for Staff.
Comments from a recent survey of Action Minds pupils resulted in comments such as ‘I didn’t realise before I joined the group that having mental health wasn’t a bad thing but now I understand we all have mental health. We should protect it’ and ‘Being part of Action Minds has taught me so much about mental health. I want to become a mental health nurse’.
Pupils outside Action Minds have said they didn’t know what mental health was before the group started its work. They report that they have been encouraged to talk to friends and family more about their mental health and wellbeing since Action Minds started its work.
The group are also taking their pupil-led model into other schools in the York and Selby areas, helping to spread the magic a little!
Is there any information you would like to add?
I feel that the utter commitment of this group should be recognised and celebrated in a larger way – a way which teachers within school community cannot do.