We all struggle from time to time with our mental health and we are increasingly beginning to recognise this. This week I have had the privilege of speaking to all the students at Townsend School about Mental Health Awareness Week and the benefits of having a positive body image. I gave an assembly and arranged an ‘I am Loved’ Cafe each day to help students work through some of these issues.
After spending the weekend with over 1000 young people at Vineyard’s Dreaming the Impossible Camp, and seeing over 80% of the young people raise their hand in response to the call about struggles with anxiety, I was extremely aware of the importance and the potential impact of the assembly and cafes.
In the assembly we talked about the impact body image can have on our mental health. This is a particularly important message in a time where young people are surrounded by images of the ‘perfect body’ in the media or on social media. Most of these images have been heavily edited or filtered, which gives us an unrealistic idea of beauty - one which can’t be achieved.
Emma Scot, head of Year 8 and anti-bullying lead, said, “Mental wellbeing is so important for young people to understand. Helena’s assembly was informative and engaging - thank you.”
During the cafe we explored body image further by looking for positive and negative images of body types in magazines. We then cut these out to create a body image collage. It provided a great opportunity to talk to the students about their thoughts.
Below is a video that highlights some the problems with body image, which I showed to some of the students during the week.
If you would be interested in getting involved with cafes please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.