Primary and Secondary schools are being urged to join a movement to help young people mid-pandemic discuss their mental wellbeing.
The ‘Show and Tell’ project was created by non-profit organisation the Photography Movement and social innovation consultancy Constance in partnership with technology giant Cisco. Now in its second year it helps all young people express their feelings and emotions around mental health simply through the medium of smartphone photography.
The ‘Show and Tell’ programme includes free workshop, talks and feedback sessions. Building to a second youth-led exhibition with the brief ‘How are you feeling?’ There were 22,000 images submitted last year; it encourages 10 to 18-year-olds to compose, connect and communicate – following a difficult 18 months.
Four expert workshops are currently available online, with four more added this month. Each accompanied by a photographic task to demonstrate how photography can be used as a mindful practice plus expert tips and tricks. The latest four workshops are street, sport, beauty and nature themed.
Recent studies have found young peoples’ mental health has worsened over the course of the pandemic, with research among teachers painting a similar picture. Issues affecting pupils include poor concentration, memory and stamina, lack of motivation and withdrawal, poor social skills and fractured friendships, weight gain, and speech and language problems.
Executive headteacher Robin Warren at The Blossom Federation, said: “The toll taken by emotions left unexpressed in young people is well documented. The Show and Tell programme changes that. Photography really does help people to see and can be a catalyst to get a young person talking.
“We took part in the project last year and it was a really good thing for our pupils to be part of, particularly the ones who were less confident. There was a child who was a selective mute who truly came alive with this project.”
The Photography Movement Co-founder Steve Wallington, said: “At a time when many schools and parents are worried about the impact of the past 18 months on young people, these free resources aim to help tackle the mental health pandemic we’re facing.
They are completely flexible so that teachers can mix and match to suit their own timings and students’ needs and the content is often adopted on a whole school basis. Most importantly though, photography can have a positive effect on young people, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.”
Experts involved in the project include fashion photographer, Danny Kasirye, street photographers, John Mannel and Mike Chudley, sport photographer, Jane Stockdale and nature photographer, Casey Moore who will all be hosting live feedback sessions for registered schools, as well as clinical psychologist, Lizz Lewis and freestyle footballer, Mo Omar. For more information about Show and Tell and the free teaching resources, go to www.thephotographymovement.com/project/show-and-tell/