Natasha Devon MBE visited RGS Worcester yesterday to speak to students and then to parents about the vital issues of mental health and self-esteem amongst teenagers.
Natasha is a well-respected writer and social critic and was appointed MBE in 2015 in recognition of her ‘services to young people’. She was appointed by the Department of Education as Mental Health Champion for Schools last summer, but was controversially released from the role after voicing concerns about the detrimental effect that academic pressure can have on young people.
Drawing on a decade of experience promoting mental health in schools, Natasha spoke to students about ‘the importance of self-esteem’, reinforcing the School’s aim to provide the highest level of care for pupil’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Jenna Martin, Year Eleven, said, “Natasha was relatable and I found that a lot of what she said was really useful for our generation.”
Oliver Thwaites, Upper Sixth said, “I thought the talk opened our eyes to the fact that anyone could have a mental illness; there are no real indicators or definitive signs to look for, and therefore we have to have a community where people can feel they can talk about their problems without getting ridiculed. It is important that this is established early in the School, so that pupils can cope throughout School and afterwards too.”
Dr Lee Andrew, Assistant Head (Pastoral) at RGS Worcester said: “We were delighted to welcome Natasha into our school. Modern life can be extremely stressful and we believe that it is vital that we equip our young people to cope with the demands made on them. Natasha is someone our pupils could relate to and she has given them the tools to discuss difficult issues confidently, support each other, and seek advice from adults when they need to do so. It was wonderful that so many parents took the opportunity to also benefit from her wisdom in the evening session. We look forward to continuing this work with Natasha and the rest of the Self-Esteem Team to further provide for the wellbeing of our pupils.”