Children from Swanson School, West Auckland, are stepping up and supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (Sept 26 – Oct 2) thanks to the support of Family Works Social Worker in Schools (SWiS) Lisa Griffin.
Along with school staff, she has been working with a group of children on raising awareness of mental health issues, which rapidly developed into a campaign to raise funds to support other kids in the school community.
Lisa says the children have come up with initiatives to support the mental health and wellness of children within the school by undertaking projects to fundraise for counselling sessions and wellbeing packs.
“Before we embarked on this project, we met with the children to talk about what mental health is, what it means to them and find a theme that encompasses this,” explains Lisa.
“They chose ‘Courage’ – the courage to speak up and the courage to listen.”
The initiative has two parts. The first is designing and selling T-shirts in partnership with Ballsy, a clothing brand that promotes mental health and wellbeing.
The second part was a 24-hour fundraising bikeathon held at the school on September 20.
“The event brought the whole community together – children, staff, parents and others. They rode bikes, both stationary and on rollers, in the school hall to promote the cause,” says Lisa.
“It’s an opportunity for them to give back and raise awareness of mental health wellness.
“I’m proud of the kids and how much they’re getting out of it – and being courageous.”
To support the fundraising, visit: