The Isle of Wight Youth Trust has launched a brand new Island Schools’ Mental Health Charter. Wightlink has been a long-standing supporter of the Isle of Wight Youth Trust for many years and over the last year that support has included the sponsorship of the Youth Trust’s Mental Health Taskforce.

The Schools’ Mental Health Charter is a quality mark through which the Youth Trust is seeking to empower Island schools to support their communities and increase mental health outcomes for young Islanders.

Youth Trust Chief Executive, Mairead Healy, explained that the charter consists of 10 indicators which have been jointly developed with young people through the Youth Trust Mental Health Taskforce.

“Many young people experience mental health difficulties during their time at school and our Taskforce found that their experiences had varied hugely between different schools. They wanted to do something to improve the situation for all young Islanders and this charter is the result.”

“The points in this charter have come directly from our young people and we have consulted with schools across the Island, as well as with Public Health to ensure that we are supporting schools in areas that will have the biggest impact for their students. This will include delivering Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, providing guidance on how to access services and resources and help with writing policies, procedures and protocols ” She said.

She further added –

“This Charter is about celebrating the good work that is already happening in schools and providing an extra boost to help our schools to reach higher. It recognises the unique role that schools play in shaping the lives of our young people and that schools can be at the forefront of breaking down the stigma on mental health and increasing emotional literacy. It is also sympathetic to the fact that schools are increasingly stretched in terms of both resources and time and will hopefully form the foundation for a whole school approach to mental health and emotional well-being.”

“We are particularly proud of this charter as an example of the Island Community coming together to support young Islanders and are thankful to all our supporters who helped make this happen.” She said.

Keith Greenfield, Chief Executive Officer at Wightlink said: “We are delighted to see the Taskforce’s work come to fruition with this important Schools Mental Health Charter and that their voices have played such a vital role in developing this important approach. We hope that all schools are inspired to use this key tool to continue their efforts to promote and support positive mental health and wellbeing amongst children and young people on the Island.”

In addition to the input from young people and schools, the Youth Trust School’s Mental Health Charter has been developed with funding from Wightlink, the Isle of Wight Community Foundation, Public Health and Sovereign Housing.


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