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Students tackle the subjects of online safety and mental health

PUBLISHED: 12:42 16 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:42 16 February 2017

Emma Pinner, student Occupational Therapist. Picture: Julie Durrant.

Emma Pinner, student Occupational Therapist. Picture: Julie Durrant.

Julie Durrant.

Students at Ormiston Denes Academy learned about mental illness and how to keep themselves safe online during two specially organised events.

The school in Lowestoft integrated the mental health awareness campaign Time to Talk Day 2017 into its lessons.

During form time, all students viewed a presentation focusing on mental health and in particular the importance of talking about mental illness, and the support systems in place.

At lunchtime, they were joined by representatives from Access Community Trust and UEA Headucate, along with the school counsellor and student occupational therapist for an informal talk.

They also received information covering a variety of support systems and techniques.

A school spokesman said: “Ormiston Denes Academy has a very strong pastoral support system and mental health first aiders who are always on hand to support our students when required.

“Our school counsellor offers support and a safe place where young people can work through their concerns when needed.”

In July 2016, the school was the first in Lowestoft to be presented with the Gold Suffolk Young Carers Schools Award Caring for Carers. Suffolk Young Carers also hold regular drop-in sessions for the school’s registered young carers.

Ormiston Denes Academy also joined the global Safer Internet Day campaign to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

The day is coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre and is celebrated in more than 100 countries,

To celebrate the day, students discussed internet safety during dedicated assemblies and tutor time, with more than 900 students and staff getting involved.

The school was part of a nationwide day of action involving the #SID2017 social media campaign and youth events where young people had their say about the digital issues that affect them.

James Kerry, head of IT and computing at the school, said: “Online safety is key to the development of our young people.”

Will Gardner, director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet, said Safer Internet Day reached 40 per cent of UK children last year.

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