Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 has been a joyous experience with the return of full assemblies and focus on many aspects of how to care for ourselves. Initiatives from pupils have been excellent.

Krish and Arjun led Headmaster’s Assembly with honest accounts of struggles with mental health. Reverend Brandon had all of Years 7 to 9 on their feet dancing to Boney M as part of his superb discussion of happiness and mental wealth! Our School Counsellor, Mr Grufferty has put in a great deal of time and effort with his Wellbeing Warriors and the lunchtime sessions with pupils. These have been brave and open conversations about LGBTQ+ experiences with mental health and opening up on stress and anxiety in school. 

Our main speaker to Year 10 Boys’ School students and Year 12 Girls’ and Boys’ School students was Hyphen, otherwise known as Aadarsh Gautam (OH 2011). 

Hyphen is a BBC Futuresounds artist. He played at Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2019, was shortlisted for Glastonbury in 2020 (before it was cancelled due to Covid) and Latitude in 2021. He has been cosigned by Yungblud, Saweetie* and Jay Sean. His latest songs have been featured regularly on BBC Radio 1 and the ‘New Music Friday’ playlist. Most recently he’s been writing for Tujamo**, a German House Producer with a billion streams who is in the Top 30 DJs globally. He is also a mental health spokesperson for Formula-E.

Hyphen has made a promising start to a music career which seemed unlikely after graduating with a degree in Philosophy and Economics from UCL and working at Goldman Sachs. Hyphen talked openly about his experiences with depression and career. The aim with the talk  is to help remove the stigma around speaking about our mental health and give practical tips on how we can improve it, based on his personal experiences.

A fantastic, interactive presentation with pupils able to ask questions live through a QR code link proved to be very successful and we thank Hyphen for his time and energy.