STAFF at a Barrhead school have been putting pupils first as they undertake new roles as mental health ambassadors.

A total of 18 teaching and non-teaching employees at St Luke’s High volunteered to complete accredited training so they would be able to provide additional support to youngsters.

The initiative has been launched to demonstrate the school’s commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils, who can easily recognise the new ambassadors from the purple lanyards they wear.

Margaret Pollock, depute headteacher at St Luke’s High, told the Barrhead News: “The training came about as a result of feedback from staff on what they would like to be trained in to further support young people.

“The ambassadors have really enjoyed the training and have found that more young people are approaching them and are able to talk through some of the issues they may be having.

“The purple lanyards the ambassadors wear have worked well in helping young people to identify them without feeling embarrassed.

“We hope the new ambassadors will help to ensure that pupils feel confident in discussing their mental health needs and have strategies in place to develop resilience to support themselves in the future.”

The ambassadors have been involved in health and wellbeing activities at lunchtimes to raise awareness of mental health.

They have also created various other activities for young people to get involved in, such as hand massages, calm colouring and writing on ‘positive affirmations’ message-boards.

Jesse Mitchell, principal teacher in health and wellbeing at St Luke’s High, said: “We, as a school, understand that recognising the signs associated with mental health problems, intervening to provide early support and signposting to other sources of help are crucial in promoting our learners’ ongoing wellbeing.

“Our wellbeing ambassadors are working hard in the school to ensure that learner contributions are used to promote a greater understanding of mental health within the student body and to develop effective support for all learners in our care.

“We currently offer a wide range of interventions to support pupil wellbeing, both with our partners in the school and outwith in the community.”

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