Surrey Knights support stem4 - The Teenage Mental Health Charity
On the 28th March, the Intendant General, R. Illustrious Knight Bob Hancock, The Deputy Intendant General, Puissant Knight Andrew Sales and the Past Divisional Senior General, Ill Knight Bob Tuthill were privileged to attend at the offices of stem4 in Wimbledon and learn of the amazing work they do on behalf of promoting positive mental health in teenagers.

Surrey Knights support stem4 - The Teenage Mental Health Charity They were delighted to meet the dedicated team of nine who work for this small but worthwhile charity and a cheque for £2,500 was presented to Caroline Cox, the Head of Fundraising for stem4 from the Surrey Division of the Grand Sovereigns Care for Children Fund.

About stem4 - The Teenage Mental Health Charity

stem4stem4 is a teenage mental health charity offering young people aged 13-25 years a range of online and digital resources to support positive mental health. A suite of four award winning digital health apps offer tools for self-support whenever and wherever they might be needed. With an excess of 2.7 million downloads globally, stem4’s apps have proved to be a significant source of support for the most commonly experienced mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm.

Created by renowned Clinical Psychologist Dr Nihara Krause, stem4 has recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary and continues to go from strength to strength in its support for young people especially at a time when rates of mental health referrals and diagnoses are at an all-time high and greatly exacerbated by the pandemic.

In support of the significant work it has already carried out in schools, stem4 created Head Ed, a Secondary School Mental Health Education Programme offering teachers a comprehensive resource to support the curriculum which became mandatory in 2021. Head Ed is for UK secondary school students aged 11 years and over. Due to the sensitive nature of the content, stem4 has created separate modules for KS3 and KS4 year groups. The content of these modules is developmentally tailored and it is therefore recommended that KS4 modules are not taught to KS3 students.

The more young people are able to identify the early signs of mental ill-health in themselves, the more likely it is that there will be a positive outcome for them. In addition, peers can often identify mental health issues amongst their friends before adults do. The earlier that young people can seek support, the sooner they may recover.

Teaching pupils about mental health can play a vital role in keeping pupils safe. Head Ed provides a step by step programme which can be embedded within the school or college’s Physical, Social, Health and Economic curriculum and includes supporting 3 minute videos, work tasks, a measure of learning and much more to enable a confident roll-out within the classroom. The modules currently cover stress, anxiety, depression and self harm. Signed up to by 1195 schools across the UK, stem4 are keen to add further resources especially as we enter the new year, bringing with it further disruption to education and teaching. Key warning signs and methods of coping with pandemic related anxiety is an area we are keen to highlight, whilst the pandemic has also had a significant impact on the number of young people experiencing an eating disorder and an additional video would be a key way to explore this topic.

Given that the pandemic has highlighted how different cultures are disproportionately affected, we would also like to add additional videos filmed with a greater cultural diversity of young people since peer-to-peer messaging and support has been shown to have further benefit. Through research by ProBono Economics for stem4 in 2020, it was revealed that the cost to schools for untreated mental health is £250 per child and with 1 in 6 children aged 5-19 years experiencing a diagnosable mental health condition, this is a significant financial burden for schools to balance. stem4’s resources are trusted, free, clinically informed and provide a considerable positive asset.

Thank you for your support in helping us create further key visual messages and teaching modules to this effective, early preventative model of mental health support.

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