Mount Carmel Year 11 pupils received a visit from Sam Tyrer, who is a male Nurse, and the founder of an organisation called 'Change Talks'. Change Talks main aim is to reduce the stigma, increase awareness and promote better coping strategies towards developing a healthier and happier mind. The themes of the talk were all linked to Sam's personal life, and he shared very openly the struggles and battles he had with his own mental health, and how he suffered from anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and very dark moments in his life, linked to body image and drugs when he was younger.

He spoke to our pupils about the dangers of social media, instant gratification, and the dangers of using drugs, from his own first-hand experience of it witnessing the harmful impacts of it as a nurse himself.

The pupils were thoroughly engaged from the moment Sam introduced himself, and he captured their interests from the get-go. Our pupils felt that they had got a lot out of the talk and felt that it was "inspirational", "relatable" and "important to hear". The pupils also heard about Sam's very adventurous life where he shared his story linked to his involvement in Channel 4's "SAS: Who Dares Wins", where he spoke about how a banana spider had bitten him, and how he was hospitalised for over two weeks. which also really captivated the Year 11s.


Read more about this scheme on the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust website

Lancashire Telegraph reported on the scheme with this article 

"A pilot scheme to to help young people with their mental health in school is being launched.

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is expanding its work with schools to help children and young people.

Sam Tyrer, engagement and prevention lead for the Trust, has secured funding from Health Education England (HEE) to carry out a pilot scheme – Change Talks ‘train the trainer’.

Sam explains: “I launched Change Talks four years ago, I wanted to go into schools and have open conversations about the issues facing young people, from anxiety and depression, to eating disorders and bullying.

“I am open with them about having my own mental health struggles in the past; I find this helps to destigmatise the issue and encourages young people to feel safe about sharing their own concerns.

“We are now just launching a ‘train the trainer’ program which allows me to give teachers all the knowledge they need to have these conversations.

“As we move forward, all schools will need a mental health lead, as part of the government’s ‘whole school’ approach.

"My work with help schools develop their staff into this role.”

The pilot scheme will see teachers given the information they will need to help pupils as well as each school being allocated an ‘education mental health practitioner’ who will have a weekly presence in the school.

These practitioners will, in addition to scheduled interventions, be present in schools to walk the floors, and to become a known, trusted and recognised face that encourages talking about mental health.

Chief executive of the trust, Caroline Donovan added: “The presence of mental health support teams in schools will provide an opportunity to create a school environment that encourages young people to be more open to talking about their mental health, will tackle the stigma of mental health issues, and provide a positive presence within the school to both support and inform wellbeing for young people.

“In the Lancashire and South Cumbria healthcare system, we are delighted to be awarded the required investment to support the further development of mental health support teams locally.”

The trust has seen a 15 per cent increase in community demand across all our services over the past 18 months, with particular focus on eating disorders."

Read the full article on the Lancashire Telegraph website