Pupils helping pupils in new Scottish scheme piloted at Bellshill campus

A game-changing mental health initiative is being piloted at one of the area's secondaries and is set to spread to other schools at a crucial point where many youngsters could use extra support from a caring and relatable peer.

Helen McGhee

St Andrew's First Aid has brought its Ready For Life programme to ably to equip young people with the ability to spot signs of mental health issues in family and friends and enable them to reach out and provide vital support.

Trainng for the pioneering course was first put into use at Cardinal Newman High School in Bellshill and the dedicated students involved have completed this with a view to utilising it at the start of the next session.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Other schools in North Lanarkshire are expected to adopt it and the good news is that in South Lanarkshire Council, Uddingston Grammar pupils will start the same training course in August.

Helen McGhee, Depute Head of Cardinal Newman High School said: “Promoting good mental health in all of our young people is a key aspect of what we do as a school. We work closely with young people, their parents and our partners to identify and address any areas of concern.

“We are delighted that we will be working with St. Andrew’s First Aid who will bring their expertise and experience to our Health and Wellbeing Programme.”

Gayle Adnyana, Managing Director of St Andrew’s First Aid said: “Young people have suffered more than most this past year during the pandemic. They have been isolated from friends and activities, felt pressures from social media and endured gaps in their education throughout lockdown.

“This qualification will give each pupil a valuable understanding of mental health, how to identify potential problems and most importantly signpost how best to help themselves and others.”

The scheme has also been praised at a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council where it was the subject of a recent motion welcoming the move.

This was presented to the full council by local Conservative councillor Colin Cameron and seconded by Councillor Sandy Watson (Conservative, Airdrie South) and which received unanimous support.

Meanwhile those wishing more information on the course should contact [email protected]