Home   Dover   News   Article

Amsterdam Marathon run for Dover Christ Church Academy head Jamie MacLean for pupil counselling

A head teacher is running a marathon this weekend to provide more counselling at his school.

It is to help children's mental health, in particular to combat stress and anxiety when there are additional pressures from social media.

Dover Christ Church Academy. Picture; Google Maps
Dover Christ Church Academy. Picture; Google Maps

And Jamie MacLean, is by coincidence doing it three days before the anniversary of the death of one of his pupils who had mental health struggles.

Mr MacLean, 41, of Dover Christ Church Academy, says this is both to help victims of cyber bullying and pupils who put undue pressures on themselves.

He told Kent Online: "Kids can be vicious to each other other but when they do it online they can't see the reaction of a victim so they don't know when to apologise.

"But also, with the filtering system on images, children and young people feel they always have to look perfect.

"Others feel they have to stay up until 2 or 3am to keep up with online group conversations.

Children are under extra pressure through social media says a head teacher
Children are under extra pressure through social media says a head teacher

"There is a constant demand to be liked and have attention."

Mr MacLean is running the Amsterdam Marathon this Sunday, the day before the half term holiday starts.

He has a £2,000 target on his crowdfunding page.

He says on the page: "Over the last two years I have witnessed students struggle with anxiety, their mental health and depression.

"I have also seen students coping with levels of adversity that I could not imagine.

Jamie MacLean. Picture: Dover Christ Church Academy
Jamie MacLean. Picture: Dover Christ Church Academy

"It is often said that the modern generation do not have the resilience that we had as teenagers; I disagree with this statement.

"When I was young, you could walk away from the school gates, close the door to your house and have a period of respite.

"The modern generation do not have this.

"The world of social media means that the pressure never disappears and anyone who is struggling with their surroundings finds that their troubles are amplified in a public and often harsh platform.

"I agree that we need to build resilience in our children but I believe we do this by offering support."

In terms of bullying, pre-internet age children would usually not be pursued by their tormentors outside the school gates and outside school hours.

But victims can now be hounded day and night, anywhere, through messages on their mobile phones.

Dover Christ Church in Whitfield, which was Archers Court School until 2010, currently has three different counselling services but the extra money will supplement this.

Mr MacLean has paid for the admission fee. travel and accommodation out of his own pocket so everything he raises will be used for extra counselling hours.

His JustGiving Page today showed that he has raised £702 so far, 35% of his target.

Brandon Warren, 14, was found dead at his home on October 23, 2017, which was half term holiday at the time.

A coroner could not rule it was suicide because it could not be proven he intended to take his own life.

Eileen Sproson gave a narrative conclusion specifying how he died but saying his intent was unclear.

Brandon had for a number of years suffered mental health issues but it has not been reported what may have caused, continued or aggravated them.

To support Mr MacLean's cause visit the web page justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jamie-maclean

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

Read more

More by this author

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More