by Danny Bowman
One of my hardest times suffering from a mental illness was at school; a mix between dealing with the tribulations of pre-adulthood and the lack of understanding shown by my peers and teachers. That’s why when I was asked by Altruist Enterprises to speak to students at Cranford Community College, Hounslow in my capacity as mental health spokesperson for Parliament Street, I jumped at the opportunity at maybe playing my small part in making life easier for kids in the same position that I was in.
The aim of the day was to raise awareness and understanding throughout six form classes and the teachers that taught them.Straight away you could see the nerves on the face of the pupils pre anticipating that the subject of mental health was on the table but as time went on them nerves dropped and replacing them was the willingness of an open mind. We even had one pupil debating on the labelling of mental illness and at that point I realised how far we have come in schools since I was younger.
I’m extremely happy to see more schools opening up and showing a willingness to discuss mental health and the importance of mental health. The feedback from the pupils and teachers was extremely positive.
Theresa May announced additional training for teachers and hopefully with that announcement those words can become a reality.
Danny Bowman is Parliament Street’s Mental Health Spokesman