Altrincham Grammar School For Boys

A Grammar School with Academy Status
Labor Omnia Vincit

Dick Moore - Mental Health Campaigner

This week, we were privileged to have Dick Moore visit AGSB. Dick was formerly an English teacher, rugby coach and headmaster, before immersing himself in adolescent emotional wellbeing after his son, Barney's suicide in 2011. He visits schools, universities and organisations to help raise awareness of mental health issues.

During the day Dick presented to Year’s 10-13 and his key message was about the unsustainability of the 'always on' mentality, "There needs to be time for self-balance. Being happy is much more than just getting top grades. You should work hard AND play hard, eat well and sleep well, exercise, get some fresh air, accept your emotions, laugh and smile, and most of all talk, talk, talk." In the evening, over 370 parents filled the Coleman Hall to hear him give a most engaging, informative and heartfelt talk, based on personal experience and expert knowledge. Dick gave parents information on how to assess the mental health of their children. He explained the continuum of emotional well-being and how, particularly during the period of adolescence, young people can be driven more by emotion and can act without thinking. Dick spoke of DNA, nurturing and particular triggers which all generate certain behaviours.

He gave parents an insight into the tasks faced by an adolescent: coping with sexual maturity, developing a maturing self-image, developing an ability to deal with disappointment, and cutting emotional dependence on parents.

He summed up his talk with references to particular mental health disorders, how to identify if our children are heading for depression, and gave the following advice:

Tell your children to:

  • Laugh and smile
  • Eat well
  • Sleep well
  • Take exercise and fresh air
  • Don’t expect to be perfect
  • We fail, just get used to it
  • Accept your emotions
  • Talk Talk Talk
  • Be kind to others
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Count your blessings

He told the parents to:

  • avoid judging
  • avoid imposing your own aspirations on your child
  • seek to build resilience whenever you can
  • encourage the discussion of emotions
  • be aware how negative remarks have three times the impact as positive remarks, and finally…
  • don’t insist on the last word!!

The following websites may also be of some use: Black Dog Depression

Thank you to the AGSB PFA for their continued support and for making the visit of Dick Moore possible.

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