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Campaign shines spotlight on young people’s emotional wellbeing

PUBLISHED: 16:19 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 01 February 2019

Students and staff at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill are wearing bright colours to launch the 30 Day ‘What’s Up?’ Challenge to support young people's emotional wellbeing  Picture: RUSS BENNETT

Students and staff at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill are wearing bright colours to launch the 30 Day ‘What’s Up?’ Challenge to support young people's emotional wellbeing Picture: RUSS BENNETT

Russ Bennett

Students and teachers have donned bright colours on a dreary day to help launch a campaign to support young people’s emotional wellbeing.

The 30 Day ‘What’s Up?’ Challenge is about small, achievable challeges  Picture: RUSS BENNETTThe 30 Day ‘What’s Up?’ Challenge is about small, achievable challeges Picture: RUSS BENNETT

The 30 Day What’s Up Challenge encourages young people to take part in simple activities they can do to look after their mental health.

More than 150 organisations across Suffolk, including schools, pharmacies and GP practices, have signed up to support the campaign, which is being run by Suffolk County Council Public Health, in partnership with OneLife Suffolk and Healthwatch Suffolk.

From today to March 2, The Source - which offers information and advice for young people in Suffolk - will be posting out daily challenges on their Facebook, Twitter and webpages that youngsters can get involved in with schools, friends and family.

Pupils at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill were among those across Suffolk to wear bright hues today to launch the initiative.

Whats Up? logo  Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILWhats Up? logo Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Bright, warm colours, such as red, yellow and orange, are proven to have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing.

Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy said: “It is brilliant to see so many students dressed so brightly to support the cause.

“At Samuel Ward, we recognise the importance of positive mental health for every member of our school community.

“The What’s Up Challenge is a great way to promote emotional wellbeing with all of our students and staff, with small, achievable challenges.”

The ideas and suggestions are informed by the five ways to wellbeing which are known to support emotional health - be active, give, keep learning, take notice and connect with others.

James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for health, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many schools in Suffolk signed up to the challenge, supporting their students’ wellbeing.

“The challenges will get young people talking, shaking up the daily routine and trying out new things. It’s a great way to blow away those January blues and help young people to feel energised and happier about the year ahead.

“Anyone can take part by following the daily posts on The Source social media channels. See how many you can do!”

Young people who take part in the challenges could be in for the chance to win a Fitbit, courtesy of OneLife Suffolk.

Laura Beale, campaigns and marketing lead at OneLife Suffolk, said: “As the healthy lifestyle service for Suffolk, we recognise the impact poor lifestyles and obesity can have on a young person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“As a result, we are now delivering sessions as part of our six-week in-school programmes and are honoured to be working on the What’s Up Challenge campaign.

“Already, we are really pleased with the response from schools across the county. It is great to see that they are recognising mental health and emotional wellbeing as an important topic to address with their young people.”

Young people can get involved on Facebook @thesourcewebsite, Twitter @sourcesuffolk and by using the hashtag #WhatsupSuffolk.

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