A number of schools have now completed their piloting phase of the ‘Who Cares?’ programme and have made overwhelmingly positive comments about their experience. After piloting ‘Who Cares?’ between May and July 2015, school feedback reports revealed:
- Some students were initially scared as they recognised symptoms in themselves or their parents. But they felt relief when they found out that others felt the same and had been through the same thing. Students understood others’ needs and there has been a noticeable change in atmosphere among students towards empathy and understanding.
- School staff felt they have been educated too; they felt they can now sensitively support students and are more aware of the misconceptions surrounding mental health.
- Schools have reported that the ‘Who Cares?’ programme also improved the overall school atmosphere, with increased confidence in both affected children and peer group relationship across the school.
Catrina Garratt, Head of Drama at Stoke Damerel Community College, Plymouth, said: “The ‘Who Cares?’ drama team wrote a play for assemblies in school. The audience were so engaged and the focus so intense you could hear a pin drop. They really took in the message. By the end of the week over 600 people watched this student-led work.”
One young carer said: “I really enjoyed it. The ‘Who Cares?’ programme has given me so much confidence and even made me want to carry on with directing and performing.”