Teacher's £1,600 fundraiser to support mental health in schools

Published on
23 October 2023

A Glasgow primary school teacher has raised more than £1,600 to support local children in receiving quality mental health and social emotional learning support.

Kate McGarrity, who works at Riverbank Primary, hosted a fundraiser at Goals in Shawlands at the weekend. The event featured a quiz and a raffle with luxurious prizes to support ‘The PATHS® Programme for Schools (UK Version)’, which supports children from a young age to raise awareness of their feelings and helps them to develop self-regulation skills.

Teacher Kate McGarrity, left, at her fundraiser
Teacher Kate McGarrity, left, at her fundraiser

Kate, 33, from Glasgow, explained why she felt the need to raise funds which total £1,606: “Today, in our local area, primary school-aged children are experiencing poor mental health episodes for a multitude of reasons and are sadly going unsupported. This can start the spiral into unhealthy choices and a limited ability to regulate emotions, which, in turn, can have lifelong consequences.

“In schools, we are seeing children struggle with emotional regulation which leads to outbursts, episodes or extreme worry, and sadness and anger are becoming a regulars part of school life. We are also seeing a dramatic decrease in child self-confidence and self-esteem – children saying they aren’t capable and aren’t able. I believe there has most definitely been in increase in these types of behaviours since the pandemic.

“As a Glasgow primary school teacher with a psychology background, the recent increase in children requiring mental health support is extremely concerning. If the trends continue and our children continue to suffer without the right type of support, I truly worry for the next generation of adults.

“The PATHS® Programme is something I deliver in school and is a proactive approach to supporting children with their social emotional learning and wellbeing. It is proactive in that it aims to prevent mental health challenges as opposed to dealing with them once they occur.”

The PATHS® Programme is a mental health initiative run by leading children’s charity Barnardo’s that works to support children in recognising, managing and regulating their emotions to build stronger mental health and resilience. In 2022/23, the programme has been delivered in 19 schools and 15 pre-schools across Glasgow, East Ayrshire and Inverclyde, reaching 5,452 children. In Glasgow, 77 per cent of children included in surveys showed stable or improved emotional competence. To donate, please visit: https://shorturl.at/LU156.

Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “We cannot thank Kate enough for her wonderful fundraising efforts. We currently deliver the PATHS® Programme in nurseries and schools across Glasgow and the West. With Kate’s support, this service can now reach more children and help to improve their mental health and better equip them into adulthood.”

More information on the programme can be found here: www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/services/pathsr-programme-schools-uk-ni-version. Barnardo’s Scotland supports children, young people and their families in more than 125 specialised community-based services across the country. The charity works with children, young people, parents, carers and communities to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life. To donate, volunteer or fundraise, please visit www.barnardos.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money.