16 Oct 2017
As part of the roll out of the Digital Healthy Schools Programme in Essex, ORCHA engaged with a group of students from Ormiston Rivers Academy who are using mHealth solutions to help them with the roll out of their own initiative…
ReThink, a group of KS4 students from Ormiston Rivers Academy in Essex, are raising awareness of taboo subjects such as sexual and mental health, and issues surrounding the LGBT+ community.
Having felt that they missed out on elements of this education, they have completed qualifications and are now rolling out assemblies and classes in their school. They regularly host events aimed at raising awareness and supporting their peers through potentially turbulent and ambiguous times, being adamant that “we would rather have an uncomfortable population than an uneducated one”.
Wanting to normalise how their peers think about these subjects, the group are looking at how to increase the use mHealth solutions and apps to back up their message; reasoning that encouraging app use means this education and positive thinking continues outside the classroom.
The group already use Period Trackers as a key element of their advised support, but had mixed experiences finding one that they rated highly enough to recommend. So, when ORCHA came to present for the Digital Healthy Schools Programme, the group were impressed by the potential ORCHA brings; helping users identify the best apps for men’s health, women’s health, and sexual health for example.
They can now easily research the best apps and recommend them as part of their advice, or point peers to the Essex Digital Healthy Schools Programme ORCHA page, aimed at school children in Essex, at myhealthessex.orcha.co.uk and let them research apps themselves. As Miss Marable, Teacher of Religious Studies, Citizenship and Sociology, explains “it’s really exciting to see how two such important initiatives [ReThink and the Digital Healthy Schools Programme] have the potential to support each other and positively impact both the physical and psychological wellbeing of our students”. Dr Muhammad Khan, Medical Adviser at ORCHA, continues “there is such an exciting symbiosis here, and there is so much potential to make a real difference to the wellbeing of young people in the area”.
ReThink now hope to raise more awareness of their work and find a way to get sustainable funding so they can increase their span of influence to the whole of Essex and beyond.
To find out more about the Digital Healthy Schools Programme or how ReThink are using ORCHA, or if you’d like to support ReThink get in touch with Andy Jeans