A PIONEERING project to improve the mental health of teenagers grappling with the stresses of modern life is being rolled out at a Kidderminster school thanks to an £8,000 National Lottery grant.

The Awards for All funding will enable staff at Baxter College to offer tailor-made support and address issues at an early stage to help pupils aged 13 to 16 reach their potential.

Head teacher Matthew Carpenter said mental illness is a growing problem nationally with 10 per cent of children having a diagnosed condition but only a quarter receiving treatment.

He said: “I am very pleased to receive this funding which will enable us to further enhance our already excellent provision for the wellbeing of our pupils.

“This will allow all our pastoral leaders to become mental health ‘first aid’ trained and develop activities that contribute to the healthy minds of pupils at Baxter College.”

Pupils identified as either known to have mental health issues or to have displayed ‘at risk’ signs are being offered help through a series of workshops covering focus, self-control, stress and coping strategies.

They are also taking part in team building activities to develop communication, problem solving and decision-making skills, physical activity aimed at reducing anxiety, depression and stress and peer mentoring and leadership courses.

Community events will also be rolled out across five local primary schools during Children’s Mental Health Week next February.