Short Sleeves, Happy Minds

Short Sleeves, Happy Minds

Helping to understand Self-Harm amongst young people

A 2013 study showed that in a typical British classroom, 3 students are self-harming. The self-harm epidemic is a relatively modern phenomenon and many teachers struggle to know how to tackle such a delicate and complicated issue.

Natasha’s ‘Short Sleeves Happy Minds’ presentation works on the basis that people who self-harm are struggling with difficult feelings and therefore stopping the behaviour involves first identifying those feelings and then finding a healthier outlet for them. She is concerned with the ‘whys’ of self-harm, not the ‘hows’.

Natasha’s class uses the basic principles of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) to teach young people about how we form and how we can break habits. She then examines healthy ways in which difficult emotions can be exorcised. All young people can benefit from understand how their minds work and developing habits which support the health of their brains.

Every student should take something useful away from the class – we all have a mental health, just as we all have a level of physical fitness and Short Sleeves, Happy Minds gives a unique insight into the human brain. The central theme of Natasha’s presentation is the power of habit and how schools can create a community which is conducive to good mental health for all.

Natasha Devon MBE is the Department for Education’s Mental Health Champion. She has been working in schools and colleges throughout the UK since 2008, helping young people to deal with every day mental health, body image and self-esteem challenges. As a journalist and author, she has conducted extensive research into adolescent mental health, as well as the role technology, pornography and social media play.

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