Thanks to an NHS SW London Community Grant we’ve embarked on a project to support our students to look after their mental and physical health. With a focus on understanding and identifying strategies to deal with emotions, so far we’ve explored meditation and mindfulness to encourage good mental health.
Students enjoyed sensory movement sessions with Corali Dance Company, a leader in dance created by artists with learning disabilities. And yoga practitioner Janet from Mallet and Gong Sound Bath Wellness took us on a guided journey using visualisation, sound, and vibration to help students relax and focus on healing positive thoughts. Some students were reluctant at first to join in, but everyone engaged in some way and enjoyed the peace and relaxation.
People with a learning disability have worse physical and mental health than people without a learning disability and are more likely to experience a number of health conditions (Mencap). By the end of this project we hope that our practical approach will help improve students' coping strategies, confidence and general health and wellbeing.
We have more to come with the project, including mental health first aid sessions, and more work around identifying and managing risks to mental and physical health.