mind copy

By Andrew Everest

Students at Hastings Academy have used a fun fashion day, and a dash of enterprise, to raise funds for the school’s chosen cause, the mental health charity MIND.

Students felt MIND’s focus on mental health chimed with their own concerns and worries with exams looming and the prospect of future challenges, with the opportunity to help vulnerable local people serving to unite the school around a worthy cause. Spurred by these thoughts, pupils raised £483.05 by paying a donation to display their most outrageous and eye-catching Christmas jumpers (and their impeccable fashion sense, we’re sure!) or ditch their normal uniform for the day, and also by selling refreshments at parents’ evenings (with their next stop The Apprentice !)

MIND as a charity campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues, and provides support to over 375,000 people nationwide through advice and support services, supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending, offering over a thousand services.

The student’s efforts are set against a backdrop of local issues, where MIND’s services are particularly relevant:

  • Bexhill, St Leonards and West and East Hastings have over 10,854 adults diagnosed with depression in 2013/14.
  • There is a significantly higher GP reported prevalence rate of mental health disorders than in the rest of East Sussex, with West Hastings, St Leonards aand Bexhill have significantly higher rates than East Sussex and the three highest rates of all East Sussex localities.
  • St Leonards has significantly higher than expected emergency admissions (age and sex standardised) for people with mental and behavioural disorders compared to East Sussex. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) caseload is 18 per 1,000 population aged under 19 years.
  • There are 1,699 patients on dementia registers.Source: Area Summary for Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group, Based on the NHS view of the JSNAA Scorecards 2015. East Sussex Joint Strategic Needs and Assets Assessment – www.eastsussexjsna.org.uk

To donate to Mind, please visit their website at www.mind.org.uk/ or text MIND to 70660 to give £3.