Keith pupils bring wellbeing into focus
AROUND 500 people packed a Moray secondary for a day that put wellbeing in the spotlight.
Keith Grammar S4 pupils organised the event to showcase all the support available in the local area.
It followed on from a Moray Minds initiative, which played out earlier this year and involved pupils from all eight of the area's secondary schools.
The drive was designed to help local teens focus on mental health and involved 30 young ambassadors being trained to become advocates for mental wellbeing.
Keith Moray Minds ambassadors, with the help of the school's Sports ambassadors, decided to continue that work by organising the November 28 showcase.
It drew pupils and staff from throughout the school as well as parents, carers and youngsters from the area's primaries.
Information on bullying, peer pressure, social media safety, coping strategies, yoga, volunteering and more was available, while a number of agencies held stalls with lots of information. In addition, youngsters could use play dough emojis to express themselves and some pupils made soothing aromatherapy oils.
KGS Moray Minds ambassador Alex Young (15) said: "There were partners there offering advice including Active Schools, Community Learning and Development, Quarriers, Penumbra, NHS Health Point, TsiMoray, the Loft, Criminal Justice, Moray Minds and a yoga zone.
"There were lots of stalls with loads of information including tips on keeping good mental health. The whole event went really well."
Fellow ambassador Mhairi Smilie (15) said 96 per cent of those who gave feedback said they would return to a similar event.
Nearly all the primary pupils who attended said they would like to come again, while another respondent said it was the best school event they had ever been to.
As well as helping to organise the day, Kira Lilley (15) was among those who took some top tips from the gathering.
"I get stressed quite easily so there was lots of information on how to help calm down," she said, adding that it would be useful advice around exam time.
Also helping to organise the event was Cassie Findlay (14), who is a sports ambassador for the school.
She explained: "Our role is to promote sport in the school, which is not just great for fitness but can help with things like anxiety and helping to create good mental health."
Senior youth worker Lynne Geddes, of the youth engagement team, said the inaugural event had been a huge success.
She said: "The kids were really good and we had a lot of positive feedback."
The youngsters involved are now preparing to visit local primaries to spread the message about the importance of good mental health and wellbeing.