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MindMate Ambassadors at Ashfield Primary

by Iliham, Greta – 15th Mar 2023

We had a chance to speak to Isobelle, Jacob, Leila, Lexie, Linda and Erin from Ashfield Primary School about their role as MindMate Ambassadors. They shared what they have been doing in school as well as why they chose to take on the role, explaining the importance of being a mental health advocate, no matter how young.

Why did you want to be a MindMate Ambassador and what does mental health mean to you?

All the ambassadors agreed on the importance of mental health on both physical health and wellbeing. They really showed the drive and passion they have towards raising mental health awareness and helping others. Leila said, “You need good mental health to stay healthy,” and Isobelle said, “Physical health can impact on your mental health.” As a group they want to work on increasing time and activities spent outside as they strongly believe this would support mental health.

Lexie said, “When people are feeling down I want to help them,” and that being part of a MindMate ambassador team allows her to do so. As a team, they are motivated to provide a safe space and reduce feelings of loneliness across the school, by providing an opportunity to be part of a group where other children can feel listened to. Jacob also wanted to be a an ambassador to raise awareness on the strategies that have worked well for him, as the aim and drive is to make “children feel happy when they’re feeling unhappy”.

The many achievements of Ashfield Primary School MindMate Ambassadors

The MindMate Ambassadors at Ashfield Primary School are doing so many fantastic things to raise mental health awareness and to make their school a safe space for all children and staff. Along with having mental health themed assemblies, doing surveys and going around classrooms to educate on this subject, the ambassadors also focus on practical ways they can help their peers by incorporating what they call ‘mindful minutes’ at break and lunch times. These minutes consist of listening to their favourite songs, mindful meditation or colouring to relax. They have many other suggestions which they have expressed to their headteacher, including turning sections of the playground outside into calm spaces and well-being pods and they are determined to fund-raise to bring these brilliant ideas to life.

Why being a MindMate Ambassador is important

Leila, Isobelle and Jacob emphasised that being an ambassador is a key role at school. They believe that it allows children to have someone else to talk to as well as their teachers. They also highlighted the importance of helping people and how that is a way for them to learn about mental health and as a result, they can incorporate the healthy strategies they pick up in their own lives.

The motivation to keep being an advocate for mental health

When it came to what motivated them to carry on in their roles, the ambassadors all shared similar sentiments – they understood how it felt to be sad or to have worries, and they do not want others to experience it. They want to keep being people that others can come to for help.

Overall, Ashfield Primary School, more specifically the amazing work done by the team of MindMate Ambassadors, has focused on raising mental health awareness, through assemblies and open conversations. They have really been setting an example for others not to feel embarrassment or shame, as well as being someone others can talk to, which seems to have been a very important coping strategy for most of the ambassadors when struggling with their mental health. They have also been working on funding an outdoor space where calming activities could take place, to provide a comforting space that can help “to keep your mind off of it” (Jacob).

The ambassadors all understand the importance of positive mental health, and coming together they have highlighted strategies which have helped them cope during those times which they hope could help many others.

You could try out some of the strategies highlighted by the MindMate ambassadors:

  • The availability and use of stress toys
  • Talking to someone about your emotions and feelings
  • Counting to 10
  • Deep breathing
  • Exercise
  • Calming music

You could stop, listen and relax with our MindMate relaxation audios or read about other mindfulness techniques here 

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