Pioneering school project to improve mental health

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Over 90 pupils from Ysgol Glan y Môr, Pwllheli took part in an innovative arts and mental health scheme this April.

The Fi Di Fi programme, run by Frân Wen theatre company in partnership with Cyngor Gwynedd with the support of Yr Urdd, uses the arts to encourage young people to understand the importance of well-being.

Artist Gwennan Mair Jones, dancer Cêt Hâf, filmmaker Osian Williams, musicians Branwen Williams and Gruff Ab Arwel and actor/director Martin Thomas spent three days at the school hosting interactive workshops that tackled issues such as confidence, welfare and health.

“It’s important that young people are aware of the importance of mental health so we use a variety of art forms such as dance, music and acting to help deliver the message,” said Gwennan, who is Frân Wen’s Participation Officer.

“We worked closely with the school and the year 9 pupils to encourage them to talk about their own feelings and to empathise with others.”

Speaking about the project, Llinos Griffith, Ysgol Glan y Môr’s Assistant Headteacher said: “Alongside academic success, we believe that the development of character, resilience and good mental health is important in equipping our pupils with the skills needed to fulfil their potential.”

Gwennan added: “We really want to get the message out there. There’s already so much pressure on young people, with social media and exams. Exercising the mind is as important as exercising the body.”

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