Award-winning GP talks to Sheffield sixth-formers about how to overcome pressures of being a student

Dr. Dominique Thompson, pictured during her visit to Tapton Secondary SchoolDr. Dominique Thompson, pictured during her visit to Tapton Secondary School
Dr. Dominique Thompson, pictured during her visit to Tapton Secondary School
An award-winning GP has visited sixth form pupils at a Sheffield school to share ideas and strategies on coping with the pressures of being a student while looking after their own mental wellbeing.

Dr Dominique Thompson visited the students at Tapton School on Monday to talk to them about some of the pressures they may encounter as a young person transitioning to university.

The young people's mental health expert, author, and educator spoke to pupils in both Year 12 and Year 13, covering a range of topics including how to deal with exam pressures and look after your mental health to getting enough sleep and avoiding drugs.

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She also hosted an assembly for parents which aimed to give them advice on how to support their children through the move.

“As a GP, I’ve spent over 20 years looking after other people’s children coming to university and not always being ready for what life throws at them,” Dr Thompson said. “We’ve seen a shift in the last five to 10 years of young people being less independent, less able to deal with the ups and downs of life but also dealing with more mental health problems, more competition, more perfectionism.

“So those are the things that I want to focus on and my big message to them is that I’m very aware that young people feel a fear of failure and letting people down all the time. They worry about that a lot and it's about being able to name it and then being able to identify it, tackle it and then get talking to people if you need support.”

Dr Thompson, who recently published a book to help parents prepare their children to face challenges and thrive in the 21st century entitled ‘How to Grow a Grown Up’, has conducted around 78,000 student GP consultations and specialises in life skills, coping with the unexpected and being prepared to be independent and leave home.

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Her talk formed part of Tapton School’s 2019/20 Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) sixth form programme called ‘preparing for society’.

The programme will allow pupils at the secondary school to not only focus on mental health and wellbeing but also take part in assemblies and workshops on staying safe, being citizens and being green.

Head of Sixth Form, Andrew Wright, said: “Sixth Form students need to be ready to be independent individuals and ready to take their place in society. Dr Thompson has provided staff, students and parents with a roadmap of how to manage mental health and wellbeing in early adult life – her work is essential.”

Dr Thompson returns to Sheffield next month to deliver training to staff across the Tapton School Academy Trust.

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