The John Fisher School is striving in breaking down Mental Health stigma by their continuous effort to support a Mental Health Trust called ‘Talk Easy Trust’, which is situated within the school.
The ‘Talk Easy Trust’ was first established by former student Aidan McNulty, who was frustrated over the lack of support for those struggling in school with either bullying or mental health issues.
After one particular tragedy in 2010 where a 14 year old boy from Carshalton Boys School, committed suicide after allegedly being bullied, Aidan was ‘determined’ to prevent these tragedies from ever happening in the future.
He then went on to set up the Talk Easy Trust in 2012. A Trust which provides mental health support to students and also tries to break down the stigma of mental health by creating awareness.
Since then, The John Fisher School have been making huge progress in delivering mental health support for students, which involves a one-to-one mentoring scheme where the mentors meet their mentees twice a week. The mentors are trained to deal with a variety of issues such as: anxiety, stress, bereavement, bullying, depression and much more.
The Headteacher of The John Fisher School, Mr. McCullagh, praised the scheme saying, “It is a really important asset to this school, probably one of our key strengths within this school is having a Talk Easy Trust.”
Talk Easy Trust is led by a team of Sixth Form students who take on the responsibility of the Trust. The significance of the Trust being ‘student led’ according to the Director of the Talk Easy Trust for 2017, Jack Roffey, is that: “student leadership has been the vehicle into turning The John Fisher School into a ‘talking school’, mainly because those students who have been suffering with certain issues find it easier to approach student mentors rather than discussing their issues with staff members”.
Mr. McCullagh, added: “as a result of the school’s budget being cut each year, I think that with limited resources you have to think differently. It is best to put in models and frameworks and strategies and making sure that the resources you do have, are being deployed effectively. The Talk Easy Trust is a fine example of that.
We hope to keep up the good work by developing the Trust and ensuring that when that group of Sixth Formers leave, there are another group of students coming through and can mentor others”.