Lucy Rookes

Lucy Brooks in a blue Tackling the Blues hoody

Student Mentor, Lucy Rookes currently studies BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching at Edge Hill University. Read her case study as to why she became a Tackling the Blues mentor.

Why did you choose to become a TtB mentor?

Coming from a background of working with Children and Young People in the sports setting, Tackling the Blues aligned with what I enjoyed and had previous experience in. but also added in the element of working within a classroom, something that I have limited experience in. A mental health literacy programme was something of interest to me as I had never heard of anything like this before. I wanted to be a part of the programme to help Children and Young People learn more about their mental health and to give them the confidence to speak out more.

What did you enjoy about being a TtB mentor?

Through my time as a mentor I have had the chance to work in both a Primary and Secondary school. I have had different experiences in both, but the overarching theme throughout was the positive impact the mentors and coordinators could have for the C&YP.  Taking part in the research side of the programme allowed me to try new things that I have never done before. I enjoyed learning something new and seeing how the work of the Research Assistants informs the programme content and delivery. The main thing I enjoyed over my time on TtB is seeing the progression of the C&YP from January to July. I was able to see first hand how the C&YP benefitted from the programme and became more confident in themselves and within conversations around mental health.

Has TtB contributed to your own mental health literacy?

Through my work on TtB, I have been able to enhance my own mental health literacy knowledge so I understand it in greater detail. I am more aware of the type of language to use when talking about mental health with Children and Young People. Having an enhanced awareness of mental health literacy will help me in any employment setting within the future, not just within this programme.

Do you think TtB has contributed towards employability?

As I have had experience as both a support mentor and insight officer, I have had the opportunity to gain a vast amount of knowledge and to build my skill set. This can then be tailored to different jobs within the future. I have also gained valuable experience within the classroom setting that will help my employability when applying for jobs.

What have you learned during your time as a mentor?

Through my time with TtB, I have learnt a number of things both within myself and the benefits of the programme. When working with the Children and Young People, I learned just how important it is for us all the have a good understanding of mental health literacy so that we are able to have open and honest conversations with each other. Within myself, I have learnt that I am capable of assisting sessions tailored to mental health and that I don’t always need to take the back pedal when it comes to contribution of delivery.

Have you been involved with any of the TtB research?

During my time on TtB, I spent a year as a support mentor. More recently, I have completed my placement with the programme’s Research Assistants. I have been involved within data management, data entry and analysis, and creating infographics/research for dissemination. Without working on TtB, I would have never had an opportunity to learn about what a research assistant does, but through this placement I was able to join in and learn the behind the scenes of the programme in a supportive network.

Would you recommend TtB to other students?

I would absolutely recommend tacking part in Tackling the Blues to anyone! I have been given opportunities that I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my involvement with TtB. It gives you the opportunity to build on a number of transferable skills needed for life after university, and allows you to be a part of the bigger picture for C&YP.

What are your plans after TtB?

Taking part within TtB sparked an interest of the importance of sport and art for better mental health and for that reason I will be completing the Masters degree at Edge Hill in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health. Through postgraduate study, I aim to better my own understanding in order to help more people with their mental health. After university, I hope to get a job with similar qualities to TtB as it is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of.