An excerpt of this article appears in the CSRP Newsletter 2022, Moving Forward Together.
Suicide Help Intervention through Education & Leadership Development for Students (S.H.I.E.L.D.S.) is leadership training programme that aims to strengthen peer support for students in distress or crisis through empowering selected students to become proactive gatekeepers and nurture leaders in mental health promotion and suicide prevention in the school community, under the support of the Mental Health Initiatives Funding Scheme. Under the guidance of the CSRP team and assistance of university student mentors, an inter-school student workshop and day camp were successfully held on 6th June and 27th July. Students were engaged in an interactive seminar and activities that covered mental health issues, recognizing signs of distress, the do’s and don’ts about peer supporting, crisis assessment and referral protocols. Before participating in the workshop and day camp, students were worried about their ability to provide helpful responses to peers in distress and they wished to learn more about mental health in order to be a competent gatekeeper.
According to our feedback, almost 90% of students found that the workshop and day camp enhanced their abilities to give appropriate assessment and response to peers in distress, proving that the program had been a great learning experience.
“I learnt a lot about handling and responding to the emotion of others and myself from the activities!”
“The thing I received most clarity and enlightenment about is to care for myself before helping others and not to put the burden of helping others onto me and myself only!”
Equally important to us is that they had a great time!
“My favorite activity was the d[etective] game as we got to put what we’ve learnt into practice while having fun at the same time.”
Students learnt a lot about being mental health gatekeepers in the workshop
Guided by the university student mentors, student participants discussing the difficulties people have in opening up when they are in distress
The badges designed by our Project Team and the schools together, with four colors representing four different schools
Inter-School Day Camp
Clinical psychologist Dr. Virginia Chan teaching professional referral protocols and key differences between professional intervention and peer support
Professor Yip valuable sharing with the students during the day camp
Student leaders actively brainstorm about conducting their mental health project once the new school term begins in September
Students applying response skills they learnt in the fun detective game