PUPILS at Johnstone High School enjoyed a week of fun with a serious message as they took time to focus on their mental health and wellbeing.

A whole host of activities took place throughout the school, including Swedish longball in PE, the chance to make healthy ‘fakeaway’ meals in the home economics department and a daily step challenge for staff.

There were also Clubercise sessions, which saw youngsters grab some glow-sticks and dance to some top tunes as part of their efforts to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The Gazette:

READ MORE: Play time at Fordbank Primary is now more fun than ever

The fun was part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which also encouraged pupils to try walking to school and switching off from social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Gazette: These bright sparks had a great timeThese bright sparks had a great time

In addition, they were asked to speak with someone in class they don’t know very well, which helped to remind them that it’s good to talk.

Lynne Hollywood, headteacher at Johnstone High, told The Gazette it is important to encourage teenagers to be open to discussion around mental health.

She said: “I’m delighted that this health week has been a hit with our young people and staff.

“We are passionate about supporting our pupils to make good choices around their physical and mental health and this week has had something for everyone.

“Our young people learn best when they are eating healthily, getting enough sleep and are physically active. Health week has been all about giving pupils strategies to lead healthier lifestyles.

The Gazette:

“It’s also really important to start opening up the discussion around mental health.

“We need our pupils to know that, if they are not feeling okay, our school will listen and support them.”

The Gazette: Girl power was on show as pupils adopted a healthy lifestyleGirl power was on show as pupils adopted a healthy lifestyle

A number of teachers at Johnstone High have been designated as ‘mental health champions’ and are tasked with letting pupils know that their class is a safe space where they can talk about mental health issues and get more information.

Ms Hollywood added: “We’ve also been keen to support the health of our staff and for them to be positive role models. This week, our staff have been taking part in a step-count challenge and a charity bike-a-thon.

READ MORE: Survey invites views on Johnstone

“We have also emphasised the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.”

Mental Health Awareness Week was organised by the Mental Health Foundation and this year’s theme was body image. For more information, visit their website

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond