I’ve been doing mental health presentations for a couple of years now, on and off. This is mainly done in local schools and colleges, to educate the people of tomorrow about mental health.
Today, I joined five of my colleagues to deliver presentations on stress and anxiety, things that affect us all at some point. We had to talk to pupils of aged 14 in classes of around 30 or so.
I joined up with another of my colleagues and I must confess to a feeling of anxiety as I stood up and prepared to say my piece. But I needn’t have worried. The pupils we spoke to were an absolute joy. They were keen to learn and take in what we were saying, and I was interrogated at length about my autism diagnosis. I felt assured, confident and comfortable addressing the classes. I only wish this was the case all the time!
My colleague was superb and relaxed into the morning’s work. The students were attentive and we were impressed by their knowledge. Sometimes we feel redundant and we should let the students do the job, so good are they.
So what’s the secret of the success? Well I could sit here and say it’s all fine and dandy. I think by making things interactive and getting the audience involved makes a huge difference. Then that makes our job easier so we don’t have to do so much talking! I think making a few jokes within the right context also helps; I wouldn’t say it’s perfect but it works for me and whoever is with me.
I came out of the classes at midday feeling utterly brilliant, with a sense of achievement and awe at how the six of us, all with current or previous mental health issues, can stand there and deliver top quality addresses to the stars of tomorrow. Superb.
A word on the teachers. With one exception, the teachers were excellent, keeping control of their classes and joining in the activities. There will always be exceptions, but I know one thing, I wouldn’t be a teacher for all the tea in China. I don’t have the patience, but the pupils today were magnificent and a credit to their school. Full marks all round.
The weather outside matches my mood. It’s sunny, clear and hot. I feel good. Nothing more needs to be said. ❤️😀
Allen Brooks xx