Year 13 students, Jack van Kuyk and Ryan Symons, have recently been appointed ‘Men’s Mental Health Ambassadors’ to help support the emotional well-being of their fellow students.
The appointments came after both Jack and Ryan found themselves offering support to others who were struggling with their mental health. “After we helped our friends through their issues, we wanted to help other young men facing the same problems” explained Ryan. “We wanted to create a relaxed and safe environment for young men to come together and discuss any problems they might be facing.”
As a result, every Friday morning from 8.30-9.05am, Sixth Form students are invited to attend ‘Women’s Half Hour’ and ‘Men’s Mental Health’ sessions to help support and empower them through their Sixth Form experience.
“We want to encourage men to talk about what really affects them in their lives. We have found that a lot of young men struggle with self-esteem issues and are preoccupied with how others might see and judge them.” Jack explained, “Not only do we want to help existing students, but we also want to create a legacy of positive men’s mental health for after we leave Newton Abbot College. We have already been approached by Year 12 students wanting to get involved and we have found this peer-to-peer mentoring approach really useful in tackling these important issues.”