A GROUP of pupils from Lornshill Academy have had their mental health project turned into a book, which was recently handed out to new S1s.

The Story of Frankie the Zebra was written and illustrated by a team of over a dozen youngsters, and focuses on Frankie's experiences of meeting others with mental health issues.

The aim of the story is to raise awareness, provide support and promote a culture where it's acceptable for young people to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.

Steven Rennie, one of the teachers at the academy, told the Advertiser: "There's 14 pupils involved.

"They were first years when they started this project; they're now third years.

"My involvement was I was in charge of S1 PSE at that time, so I created the idea of doing a project around mental health.

"They came together and decided what they were going to do."

After settling on creating a story focusing on mental health, the pupils split up into teams to bring their idea to life.

Some worked on the writing, and others worked on the illustrations.

The story itself was presented to a mental health conference in Alloa last year, and had a big impact on audience members.

Steven said: "The response they got at the wellbeing conference [was incredible], there was folk in tears at the story.

"It was brilliant, and I think the kids took a lot out of that as well."

More recently, after funding was made available from the school and the Parent Council, the pupils' work was published and made into a small book.

And after flicking through a copy of the finished product, Steven said: "It opens your eyes.

"We've all got our own idea of mental health and what it is.

"But when you actually see it through the eyes of a 13-year-old or a 12-year-old, it's completely different.

"The books only came in the other day, and over the next few days they'll all get access to it.

"We're going to give a copy to every S1 pupil in our school from this term."

When asked how he thought those who worked on the story will think of it, Steven said: "I think they'll be blown away."

And on behalf of the school's staff, he said: "We're very proud of what they've done."

The pupils who worked on the project are listed below.

Emma Green, Kiera Molloy, Shona Whyte, Hazel Bennis, Sarah McCabe, Zoe White, Ciara Morrison, Emma McCurdie, Eryn Marshall, Aimee Cook, Damien McAleese, Lucy Hensman, Imogen McLeod, and Caitlin Syme.