A BUSINESS networking group has pledged its support for mental health among students as they enter the world of work.

Worcestershire Advance has launched an initiative to help students aged 16 to 18 develop a better understanding of achievement and maintaining good mental health.

By giving them help at an early stage, it is hoped they will grow to be more confident and resilient, and be better at maintaining good mental health in preparation to join the county's business community.

Money raised at the Worcestershire Advance summer fete, which was held at The Commandery in Worcester, will allow Carrie Workman, a registered mental health nurse, to visit eleven schools and sixth form colleges across the region.

There she will lead assemblies on mental health, coping strategies and skills.

Students will then be invited to receive tailored advice from Mrs Workman during a private drop-in clinic.

She said: "It's so important to talk to young people about mental health, especially in this age of social media.

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"I'm looking forward to helping more teenagers be open about how they are feeling as it will help them support others as well as manage their own wellbeing."

Schools taking part include Worcester Sixth Form College, The De Montfort School, Chadsgrove School, Stourport High School and Sixth Form College, Arrow Vale RSA Academy, North Bromsgrove High School and Sixth Form and Wolverley CE Secondary School and Sixth Form

Chris Orr, the outgoing Chair of Worcestershire Advance,added: "This project is one that we are all very passionate about.

"With research published by NHS Digital showing that one in eight school-age children has an identified mental health disorder, we felt we needed to make a difference now.

"I am proud that we are able to do our bit to help the next generation have a better insight in respect of their mental health, the challenges that they may face, and the coping mechanisms that will allow them to be successful."

Worcestershire Advance is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to attract, retain and grow business talent in Worcestershire.

Its like-minded members meet monthly to grow their skills in a vibrant, fun environment.

For more information, go to www.worcsadvance.co.uk/