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Trust psychiatry taster prompts huge improvement in sixth formers’ awareness of mental health issues

Trust psychiatry taster prompts huge improvement in sixth formers’ awareness of mental health issues
11 June 2018

A taster event for teens considering a career in psychiatry has led to a massive improvement in their awareness of mental health issues, feedback has shown.

Before the session, organised by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, only 26 per cent of the 16 and 17-year-olds said their awareness was ‘good’ while 74 per cent said it was between ‘average’ and ‘very poor’.

But after the four-hour programme, held at Trust HQ in Willerby Hill, 89 per cent of the Year 12 pupils rated their awareness as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ while just 11 per cent indicated it was lower.

One sixth former said the event “addressed common stigmas associated with mental health” while another said their “awareness of mental health has improved and I’m considering [working in] it”.

Gillian Hughes, the Trust’s Medical Directorate and Medical Education Manager, said: “I’m delighted with the feedback, which shows a massive increase in the pupils’ awareness of mental health issues, which affect one in four of us at any time.

“With increased knowledge comes improved understanding, which can only be good among young people who are at a crucial and particularly stressful time of their lives.

“We hope the insights they’ve gained will help them improve their own and other people’s health and wellbeing, regardless of whether they pursue a medical career.”

Encouragingly, 74 per cent of the pupils said the likelihood of them applying for medicine before the event was ‘good’ or ‘very good’, a rating which climbed to 89 per cent once the session had ended.

The pupils also gave the content high marks, with 88 per cent rating the first workshop, How to survive as a medical student and foundation doctor, ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

A total of 89 per cent awarded the same marks to the second workshop, Mental health at the movies, while 76 per cent gave the scores to the final workshop, Talking to patients with mental health problems.

The event hosted 24 sixth formers from schools in Hull and East Riding, including Beverley Joint Sixth, Driffield School and Sixth Form, Hornsea School and Language College, Hymers College, St Mary’s College, Wolfreton School and Wyke College.

One pupil from Scarborough Sixth Form College and another from St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, also attended.

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