St Dunstan’s Hosts Youth Mental Health Summit

By School House

2 years ago


St Dunstan’s College was delighted to host its second Youth Mental Health Summit on Friday 7 October, 2022. 

The summit, which was hosted in the College’s theatre, was attended by pupils from across the country including London, Kent, and Coventry. 

Youth Mental Health Summit

This year, writer and broadcaster, Sam Delaney, led the keynote talk ‘How to talk about mental health’. Mr Delaney, who is known for his mental health writing in The Guardian and the Telegraph and his popular podcast, Reset, spoke to students about his own experiences and how little moments of trauma can have long and lasting effects on mental health. 

St Dunstan’s Deputy Head Pastoral, Jade McLellan, also led a powerful talk on ‘Child and adolescent brain development,’ and behaviour consultant Kat Stern also spoke to guests about feelings around stress. 

Following the keynote talks, students then took part in a carousel of workshops. This included ‘The Mental Health Continuum’ hosted by David Whiting from Mental Health First Aid; Understanding through processes’ led by St Dunstan’s counsellors Julia Gray and Canon Boswell; and ‘The Infinite Game’ led by Tom Telford, Head of Adventurous Activities at the College. 

The Summit, which was kindly supported by Finalsite, was organised by Deputy Head Pastoral, Jade McLellan and the College’s Head of Communications, Jordon-Lee Squibb. Speaking about the event, Mrs McLellan said: ‘We were delighted to mark the return of St Dunstan’s annual Youth Mental Health Summit. This year’s event saw students from both state and independent schools working together to generate a vision for promoting wellbeing and raising mental health awareness amongst young people. 

Speakers and guests at the Youth Mental Health Summit

‘This year the summit included a new line up of speakers, seminars and workshops to inspire students: a much-needed resource at a time when young people’s mental health continues to be under assault due the impact of global pressures and the shortfall in adolescent mental health support.’ 

St Dunstan’s College launched the Youth Mental Health Summit in 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic. The inaugural event included a keynote by commentator Sir Anthony Seldon.

Earlier this year, the school was named Independent Senior School of the Year at the Tes Awards 2022, which are known as the Oscars of education.

Judge David James has worked in independent schools for over 20 years and is an experienced inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. He said: ‘There’s a very clear and coherent vision of what they want to do, both with the curriculum and the local community. ‘The head is asking interesting questions of the sector, including areas like privilege and responsibility, which go beyond the usual platitudes. It’s a really interesting school in a tough market, trying to not just survive but actually make something different for the children and families they’re working with.’

See St Dunstan’s online listing here.