On the 20th June this year FSM year eight pupil, Hector, presented at a conference in at the Shard (London) called ‘Can anyone hear me?’. The conference was run by the Lucy Rayner Foundation who work to encourage young people to speak out about their mental health.

Hector was invited to speak about his mental health journey, what he’s learnt along the way and how recognising what made him anxious meant he could deal with it.

Just three years ago, Hector realised that he was being naughty and it was effecting all areas of his life. Small things were bothering him and he would often over-react to situations. Hector broke down to his mum, and he began to see the School counsellor. They worked together to recognise the triggers for when he was being naughty and why he felt the way he did. They all worked together with some exposure therapy to gradually build up confidence. A process that continues to be ongoing, even though Hector is doing a lot better now.

At the summit during his presentation Hector said: “We need to talk more. Sharing anxiety is not a weakness, it creates strength.” Hector wants to encourage other young people to talk about their mental health – as only when he spoke to his mum did it change everything…for the better. Hector shared with the delegates: “we have to learn how to control our anxieties, or our anxieties will control us. But to do that we have to talk and listen more.” Words that we at FSM find very wise!

Hector left Forres Sandle Manor this summer and will begin at Dauntsey’s in September, with a scholarship in Performing Arts.

We wish you all the best Hector! We hear you and are proud of you!

Here’s a short video from Nicola McLean about her input to the Summit: here