CLYDEBANK High has received worldwide recognition for its efforts in improving pupil’s mental health and wellbeing.

The school’s pupil support group worker, Gerry Diamond, was asked to speak at the international Mindfulness in Schools Project conference in London about the success the school has seen since introducing the wellness programme of initiatives aimed at positively improving students’ lives.

At the event, which was due to be held in London but was instead broadcast live online due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gerry told attendees from all over the world how the school, with backing from head teacher Jacqui Lynam, had embarked on a journey to improve mental health back in 2017.

He told how students had been encouraged to participate in mindfulness practices including dealing with difficult emotions, being in the present moment, as well as learning stress and anxiety coping strategies and various breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions.

Gerry said: “I was very proud to share our experience at the conference and I am delighted that the ongoing work by everyone at the school is receiving worldwide recognition. I would like to thank all of the pupils because without their willingness to learn and take on new approaches, this would all have been impossible.”

Councillor Karen Conaghan, convener of educational services, said: “I am very impressed by the support on offer to the pupils which not only helps them succeed, it also helps them to feel good about themselves both within schools and at home.

"I would like to thank Gerry and all his colleagues, for their commitment in helping their students make the best choices and have a happy and settled education.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, vice convener, added: “It’s really encouraging to see the school taking action to address the student’s mental health and reduce anxiety by using mindfulness approaches in schools.

"We know how vital it is to step in early with support to stop problems escalating by having someone who can offer help and support when needed.”

Clydebank High School hosted the first ever West Dunbartonshire Learning Festival earlier this year, where teachers and staff from across the area attended workshops, stalls and talks focused on "Nurturing Positive Relationships" and "Building Resilient Communities".