Redbridge students rewarded by police for mental health artwork
- Credit: Redbridge MPS
Redbridge police officers have rewarded some of the most creative young minds across the borough for their artwork highlighting mental health issues.
Realising the pressures faced by young people during the pandemic, officers from Redbridge's Safer Schools team organised a competition to get youngsters to express the challenges they face with mental health issues.
The team, led by Sgt Jamie Warner, received a staggering 250 entries, including posters, drawings, rap music, photography and computer-generated images.
Their work not only highlighted the effects of current issues manifest in the everyday lives of young people, but also where others can go to seek help and support.
The officers reached out to companies including ASOS, which supplied £50 gift vouchers, Boots, which supplied hampers for prizes, and the Barkingside restaurant Spice, which offered a generous gift voucher.
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The competition was launched in support of Mental Health Awareness Week and Sgt Warner said the quality of the entries was so high it was difficult to choose just five winners.
He added: “At a time when youngsters across the globe are struggling to cope with the restrictions of lockdown and the changes in their educational routine, we felt it was important to get our young people thinking about the pressures on them, or their friends, may be facing in a constructive way.
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"Our aim was for the competition to highlight mental health while communicating to youngsters who may need support that they are not alone and that help is there for them if they need it. I hope we have achieved that and that the children had some creative fun as a result. The standard was very high."
The team are looking for a place to have the work displayed across the borough to help break down the taboo of teenage mental health issues.
The winners were Mihalea Zinovii and Mohammed Hakim from Mayfield School, Hafsah Butt from Valentines School, Raluca-Mihaela Leonte from Loxford School and Hamza Mohamed from Seven Kings School who submitted an original rap song.
Youngsters seeking mental health support can visit https://youngminds.org.uk/, https://stem4.org.uk or https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health to name just a few of the organisations which offer help.