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Moving for Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Moving for Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Last week saw the launch of Dulwich College’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year was Movement: Moving for our mental health and thus it was a celebration of the benefits that physical activity can have on mental wellbeing.

Activities started at 7am with a fun run around the College grounds and continued into every breaktime and lunchtime. Students joined in for spinning, tag rugby and HIIT exercises, with Mr Davies, Director of Sport, and his team running all of the sporting activities. But movement included other pursuits with classes in mindful art, mindful Lego and mindfulness itself, along with a plant growing workshop, samba drum session, bookmark making and knitting. The Wodehouse Library ran a seedling swap table throughout the week and collated reading lists of books for each school that highlighted mental health. Jo Ray and the Counselling team returned with their highly popular Pixar and Popcorn in the Yelcho Room and hosted a session practising micro-movements that can help calm one’s nervous system in times of stress. 

Two students holding cups of popcorn in Yelcho room

The Lower School walked the Dulwich Mile around the perimeter of the College grounds and took yoga lessons. To normalise stress and worry, and learn ways of coping, 10 minutes each day was dedicated to practising a relaxation technique. The students in DUCKS took part in a range of activities across the week such as collaborative drawing, nature walks and strategies to help ease worries and anxieties. They were also visited by Miss Way who led a fun art session that combined movement with music and dance, and students drawing with their feet.

Keynote speaker Nick Rusling OA spoke to students about his fascinating career in sports event management. Nick has collectively motivated millions of people around the world to get active and change their lives for the better through fitness and movement, raising over £150million for charity along the way.

Nick Rusling OA talks to students

There were activities for the staff too, with tea and cake in the afternoon sun at Grange Lane allotments, more tea and cake in the Wodehouse Library, a Dusters cricket match and a coaching workshop for staff with young children.

The week culminated in a group of students and staff meeting on the Saturday morning to enter the Dulwich Park Run, with many more cheering from the sidelines.

Underpinning the week was a large series of posters that appeared all around the College with words of encouragement from Upper School students to the whole Dulwich Community. These messages showed that there are always people who care and that talking to someone about one’s worries is a skill to be encouraged.

For many, the glorious weather during the week and excitement for the summer ahead had a profound impact on their general wellbeing. In stressful times, it is heartening to be reminded of the nourishing benefit of a beautiful morning and that the importance of mental health is present throughout the year.

Mental Health Awareness Week poster


Students and staff plant growing workshop in South Cloister
Dusters cricket match
Knitting workshop in Wodehouse Library
Junior School pupils exercise in Welsh countryside
Lower School pupils and teacher walking by the Pavilion

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