Delegates from more than 150 schools from across the North East came together for a Church of England-led conference on Mental Health in Gateshead today. (5/7/2017)
The conference was in response to schools requesting support to deal with growing mental health problems being experienced by young people.
Organised by the Joint Education Team for the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle they brought together leaders in education and national and local mental health services.
The keynote speaker was Gill Hedworth, who has 22 years’ experience in leading on behaviour, health and well-being in education. Until 2016 she was the Lead Advisor on Behaviour and Attendance in North Tyneside; she is now Diocesan Consultant for Mental Health to the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle.
Asked about helping young people Gill told Premier “I do think faith will help them. That is a good route through because you can give them some promise that things can get better and there are other people to help and support them.”
Other speakers included two Primary Mental Health workers with experience of working with young people, and Minds Ahead, who work in partnership with the Carnegie Centre of Excellence in Mental Health based at Leeds Beckett University.
Mr Paul Rickeard, Director of Education for The Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle told Premier “Part of our mission as the church is to work in the community. Our schools are not faith schools for Christians, but are Christian schools for everyone, so it is important to us to work with everyone in our communities.”
Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton went along to find out more and you can listen to his report below.