STUDENTS AT SCHOOLS AROUND LONDON TRAINED TO DELIVER THEIR OWN MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME

Among reports of a mental health crisis brought on by the pandemic, students at schools around London have been trained to deliver their own mental health programme. With so much uncertainty over the past year, students’ mental health is
facing its own pandemic.

m-LAH is a government-funded talking program that helps motivate secondary school students to lead healthier lifestyles.

m-LAH is different to other mental health programmes: it is delivered and facilitated by the students themselves. m-LAH has been designed to be simple, so that year 10s and above can easily learn how to become m-LAH facilitators. In just a matter of
weeks, students can learn the skills needed to lead m-LAH meetings.

Training students to be facilitators unleashes talent that can be used throughout the school. Mental health programmes are often hampered by lack of resource, but mLAH unlocks the talent within schools.

Because m-LAH is for peers by peers, students become the solution to each other’s mental health challenges.

m-LAH (Motivation for Learning and Health) is based on a simple insight: most students know what a healthy lifestyle looks like – it is not lack of knowledge that prevents students enacting healthy lifestyles, it is lack of motivation. m-LAH is a
talking programme that focuses on motivation.

m-LAH takes inspiration from motivational and behaviour change programmes such as parenting classes, dieting groups and addiction support groups. These motivational programmes are well-established, and evidence based. At the heart of
all these motivational programmes is honest conversation amongst peers. m-LAH is honest conversation amongst peers.

Sixth-formers at Sacred Heart School in Camberwell have learnt to become m-LAH facilitators. Emelia Bature is in her final year at Sacred Heart and is hoping to study medicine at Liverpool. Emelia learnt how to become an m-LAH facilitator in 2020.

Emelia explains m-LAH in her own words:
“m-LAH is a talking programme where you talk about what you want to do and what you want to achieve”

Many children taking part in m-LAH reported struggling with sleep, exercise and screens, but Emelia says:
“you can talk about anything; school work, skincare routines or taking your medication… anything”

Emelia goes on to say:
“m-LAH helps with that sense of accountability”. m-LAH was started with a government grant during the first lockdown.

m-LAH resources are currently free, ready to be downloaded at m-LAH.org.

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