Now and Beyond on Inside Out Day

New mental health and wellbeing festival for schools planned for February.

The charity Beyond are set to host the UK’s first ever mental health and wellbeing festival for primary and secondary schools, during Children’s Mental Health Week. Thousands of schools will have the opportunity to choose from mental health and wellbeing experts donating their time to run sessions, free of charge, on 3 February 2021.

Founded by Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn, Beyond exists to challenge and change the mental health status quo. They have joined forces with Inside Out Day to create a new event in response to the pandemic’s impact on an already urgent mental health crisis. The organisers are calling ‘Now and Beyond’ a ‘unique opportunity to be part of something monumental and contribute to a shift in the way the UK approaches mental health education for our children’.

Schools are now able to book virtual sessions hosted by local mental health and wellbeing experts. Sessions on 3 February 2021 are available to book on a first-come, first-served basis. Louisa Rose, festival creator and Beyond youth board member, told us: ‘Each school will benefit from their own bespoke programme of sessions based on the needs of the school and its students, parents or teaching body. Our sessions hosts specialise in children and adolescents across many areas of mental health and wellbeing. They include educational psychiatrists, psychologists, school counsellors, yoga and mindfulness teachers, art therapists and much, much more.’

Ahead of Festival Day, a range of downloadable lesson plans created by experts will be available for all schools who sign up. ‘We encourage schools to drive awareness for the day and engage in the subject of mental health and wellbeing in the lead up to the festival using these resources, which can also be used on Festival Day itself in classrooms. We’ll be asking all participants to wear an item of clothing inside out, to remind us to think about how someone may be feeling on the inside.’

BBC broadcaster and journalist Kate Silverton will be a guest speaker on a webinar the evening of the festival day. Aimed at parents, teachers and carers, Kate will discuss her first book, There's No Such Thing As Naughty, which features input from psychologists.

Now and Beyond on Inside Out Day will also launch a fund to provide grants to any school who wishes to continue the mental health provision that they have been able to experience on Festival Day, but may not have the resources to finance.

Over 360 schools from all over the UK have signed up to take part and over 120 mental health and wellbeing experts have committed to deliver virtual sessions, free of charge, to schools in their local area on festival day. Any psychologists who specialise in children and young people can apply to host some sessions via https://nowandbeyond.org.uk/sign-up-host. All hosts go through a vetting procedure overseen by Dr Erin Turner, consultant psychiatrist and trustee of Beyond charity.

Jonny Benjamin MBE, co-founder Beyond, said: “Young people's mental health must be prioritised now more than ever before in light of COVID-19. We at Beyond are fully committed to ensuring the next generation's mental health is finally addressed as it should be.”
 
Preet Kaur Gill MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, added: “The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on our children and young people’s mental health by exacerbating existing mental health problems and sparking new ones. If we want to achieve better access to mental health support for our children and young people, especially in our schools, then we must equip teachers with the resources and guidance they need to do this. That’s why I am proud to support the Now and Beyond on Inside Out Day – a fantastic opportunity for schools across the country to access valuable mental health resources for their staff and students, and I encourage everyone to get involved.”

- Find out more https://nowandbeyond.org.uk

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