saib (meaning pause/rest in Welsh) is a new project that will train student volunteers to go into secondary schools around Cardiff to deliver mental health and wellbeing workshops. We will be covering a range of topics and have the core aims of reducing stigma, providing accurate information and encouraging communication and help-seeking behaviours.
Wellbeing is being introduced into the curriculum so teachers will soon be required to deliver these lessons, but there are advantages to having external volunteers leading the lessons in an informal, near-peer format. When it comes to sensitive issues like mental health and wellbeing, students can feel more comfortable asking an external staff member than a teacher that they see every day. The informality of the lessons can prove to be more engaging and better received than formal PSHE lessons. Having student volunteers who are closer to the age of the students can also help with relaying the material in a relatable way.
As well as being valuable to the schools, it will be very rewarding for volunteers. They will feel like they are making a difference to young people’s mental health. Volunteers will recieve thorough training in lesson delivery and safeguarding and will be very confident in following the Child Protection Protocol.
Currently (as of March 2020), workshops are being developed and schools are being contacted to arrange for volunteers to attend in the next academic year. If you become a member, you will be updated when volunteer recruitment begins (predicted September 2020) and be given information on how to apply. Until then, you can be part of a student group that is passionate about mental health education. We will be holding engagement events and socials which, if you are a member, you will be invited to.
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