This week I had the privilege to attend and help at a programme at Mana College.
Mana College delivered a fantastic programme, lead by Mike King, which not only taught people about statistics and signs of depression, but also what young people can do when they feel worried or confused.
The message I received from the day is: it’s not that people who feel this way don’t want support, its that they don’t know where to find the support. And most of all they are worried about what the people around them think. I believe this day made the young people more aware that depression can be hidden, can present in different ways and behind a facade there are emotions that cannot be shown, only be spoken.
There were a variety of workshops which gave the young people a way to find an outlet outside their comfort zone, a way to express emotion through action, art, words, and creation. However the most valuable thing I believe young people and adults a like received from this day is:
It’s ok to talk, it’s normal to have these thoughts, and it’s ok to ask for support.
It was a really good opportunity to mix with students that I otherwise would not of met or been involved with. It was great to see so much passion in teachers and the senior leadership team about wellbeing. I went home and comfortably said that if I were a parent, that I would send my teenager to a school that has truly put the student at the centre. A school that works out how best to encourage students and enable them to dream and overcome obstacles…….it was great to be there with my Challenge colleagues supporting Mana.
Matt Bentley, Social Worker
The main message was that I got from the day was: “I am hope”. This comes with the responsibility we have of being friends, being genuine and asking each other “are you are ok” and to give each other hope.
Lynley Goodisson, Counsellor
Mike King spoke about his own personal journey through depression/ thoughts of suicide / drugs & alcohol. His talk was very real and some of the things he said hit home for me and also for the young people. He connected with the young people really well throughout his whole presentation and made sure that they had fun but also understood the message about this cause. This was the biggest highlight for me.
Junior Seumanufagai, Youth Worker