stem4 held their first Parent Conference on Teenage Mental Health on Monday 20th March in conjunction with Wimbledon College and had an amazing turnout of over 130 parents. The conference was targeted at parents who have children in secondary school and wanted to know more about mental health trends both developmental as well as common mental ill health problems in children and young people.
Dr Nihara Krause gave the audience some background on teenage mental health, talking about the pressures that young people face, signs that could indicate there is a problem, and what families can do to maintain good mental health. We then heard from stem4 ambassadors Iain and Michael Maitland who used a question and answer format to describe Michael’s illness and the ups and downs of getting him help; Rosie Day who spoke about the effect of mental health illness on siblings and the whole family; and Miriam George who described parenting a child with a mental health illness.
Along the way Dr Krause presented tips on what parents can do, discussed where and how to get help, and how to build resilient families. There was plenty of opportunity for parents to ask questions and interact with our speakers. We really hope that the conference helped parents develop their awareness of mental health, understand how mental health affects learning, and identify strategies which could help everyone manage their child’s well-being.
Thank you to Wimbledon College, in particular Paul Fitcher, for allowing us to host this event, and to all our speakers for bravely sharing their experiences.
On Saturday 4th March, Ivette Landino organised an exhilarating three-hour Zumba class with a group of amazing instructors to raise funds for three charities: stem4, Chance To Play and CHAMOS. Over 50 people took part in the energetic Zumbathon and were treated with champagne and canapes afterwards to reward their hard work! There was a raffle with fantastic prizes and an iPad Mini was presented to the highest fundraiser! This event was privately sponsored by TJ Lim, a very generous individual who not only loves Zumba but also likes to give to charities. Thank you to Ivette, TJ Lim, and to everyone who donated and took part.
Student Conference at Wimbledon College
At the beginning of February stem4 held a student conference on teenage mental health in association with Wimbledon College as part of their ‘Changing Minds’ initiative focussing on developing awareness of mental health. stem4 student conferences are about bringing together a range of young people to provide an opportunity to express, in their own words, a message to their peers about the importance of looking after their mental health and to understand what early steps they can take to stop the growth of mental illness right from the start. Year 10 representatives attended from six local schools for the half-day conference.
After an icebreaker activity to get to know everyone, Dr Nihara Krause spoke on why good mental health is important, describing aspects of wellbeing we should focus on and giving a background to common mental health problems. Students then heard the personal experiences of some of stem4’s ambassadors: Iain and Michael Maitland, Rosie Day and Naomi Cavaday, and had plenty of opportunity to ask them questions.
The conferences are designed to be interactive, and students worked in groups to create statements about the importance of communication, early identification and early action for change. The prize-winning statement was: ‘Early identification, Is your medication, Hear not listen, That’s your mission, If you talk to a friend, It’ll help your mind mend’. Students also discussed what they thought an essential school ‘mental health toolkit’ might look like – they had some fantastic ideas including having a school counsellor, a confidential email service, and even a school pet tortoise!
Dr Krause summarised the event by asking students to take the key message about the importance of looking after mental health back to each of their schools and to deliver it in the form of an assembly.
If your school would be interested in hosting a student conference on teenage mental health then please contact email@example.com.
Hidden Harms Conference
stem4 was part of the national ‘Hidden Harms’ conference at the University of Suffolk, which brought together more than 140 delegates, including the UK’s leading experts and mental health charities. The focus was on how mental health issues affect young people and what support should be provided. stem4’s CEO and founder, Dr Nihara Krause delivered workshops on anxiety, depression and resilience. The conference gave professionals involved in social work, education, health and police sectors an improved understanding of how to respond appropriately and effectively to the needs of young people. Click here to read more about the conference.
Santa Parkrun on Wimbledon Common
stem4 was delighted to be the nominated charity at the annual 5K ‘Santa Parkrun’ on Wimbledon Common on Saturday 17th December. There were 426 runners in a variety of Christmas costumes – several Santas, reindeer and even a complete Christmas tree! Steve Hammond the local MP was there to wish the runners a Happy Christmas and to introduce stem4 as one of the local charities the run was supporting. Given the positive benefits of exercise on enhancing mental wellbeing, stem4 is particularly pleased to be nominated by Parkrun Wimbledon.
On 12th November in Wimbledon, Charles Hampden-Smith organised an invitation-only fundraising party with all proceeds going towards developing stem4’s next app. Thank you to all of the sponsors, supporters and donors who contributed to the night which was a resounding success, raising over £8,000! This was in addition to the £2,450 that Charles raised via a golf voucher auction earlier in the summer.
Charley Literally Fights For stem4!
After 8 years away from the ring, long-time stem4 supporter Charley re-entered the fold for a one-off charity boxing match on the 10th November at the Grand Hotel, Clapham. After more than 10 weeks of hard-core training to mentally and physically prepare himself for getting back in the ring, Charley put in a sterling performance and raised over £1,100 for stem4.
World Mental Health Day Event at Wimbledon Piazza
The stem4 Mental Health Fair on Saturday 15th October was a great success with many people participating in the various events. There was also considerable interest in the mental health information on hand.
stem4, the award-winning Wimbledon-based charity which offers education and early identification of commonly occurring mental health issues in teenagers, held a special stem4 event in the Wimbledon Piazza to mark World Mental Health Day (10th October 2016).
The aim was to provide up to date information about mental health and to offer a selection of activities that enhance general well being.
All donations raised at the event are to be allocated towards enabling stem4 to expand the services offered to schools and make available crucial information and guidance to a new population of young people.
Opening by Dr Nihara Krause
stem4 Ambassadors actor Rosie Day and Michael Maitland providing a short address each
Author Iain Maitland, signing of his new book ‘Dear Michael’
‘What Makes You Happy Board’ had all ages participating and a collage will be on the stem4 Facebook page and used in future teaching @stem4org #makesmehappy
Performance by the Chickenshed Theatre Company, a youth theatre company
Boxercise, Rowing and Cycling challenges
A Zumba taster which has the Piazza rocking to Latin Rhythm by Ivette Landino and Jose
Anne Martin, Trustee stem4, Iain Maitland, author, Michael Maitland, Ambassador stem4, Dr Nihara Krause, CEO and founder stem4 and Rosie Day, Ambassador stem4.
Positive Practice in Mental Health Award Winners
On 13th October 2016 stem4 attended the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards – these are very prestigious national awards and stem4 was nominated in two categories. We won the Digital Innovation award for the Calm Harm app, and our founder/CEO Dr Nihara Krause won the Making a Difference award. We would like to thank our sponsors, ambassadors, volunteers and trustees for all their support, allowing us to move ahead in the digital world and helping us to make a difference in our followers’ lives.
Stella and Dot Jewellery Sale
On 5th October stem4 hosted a Stella and Dot sale, raising money for the charity through selling stylish jewellery pieces.