A teenager from South Tyneside has been commended for her work to help shape the way in which schools in the borough address mental health.
Darcey Lines has worked with South Tyneside Council’s Public Health team to develop the Healthy Schools programme, a quality assurance award which covers everything from healthy eating to students’ emotional health and wellbeing.
The 18-year- old has worked alongside schools and the council team to ensure that the Healthy Schools application stresses the importance of mental health and advising on how best to engage with students about the issue.
Darcey was invited to the Mayor’s Parlour, in Jarrow Town Hall, to receive special thanks from the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith.
The mayor said: "It was a pleasure to meet Darcey. Her passion to help young people with mental health is truly inspirational.
"Darcey is an asset to the borough and she has had a real impact on how schools across the borough can best address mental health.”
According to a report by Public Health England in 2015 one in 10 young people in a class have a mental health issue at any one time across the UK.
Coun Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “It is vital to get young people’s views on this issue in order to provide them with the support and advice they need.
“The emotional wellbeing of young people is just as important as their physical health which is why it is vital that we continue to put young people at the heart of our emotional health and wellbeing offer in schools in South Tyneside.”
South Tyneside has more than 80 mental health champions and more than 50 schools are part of the Healthy Schools programme, which are dedicated to supporting the borough’s young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Darcey, from South Shields, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the council’s public health team to create a mental health strategy for young people.
“I feel that the work I have been able to carry out will help those who seek help in the future in South Tyneside.”