- Fundraising Events - Kindess and Diversity
- Guest Speakers - Values Talk
Greg Lake – previous student from Old Park who shared how our school values have supported his dream of becoming a professional musician.
- Health Talk - WBA Foundation and School Nurse Team
- What is Mental Health?
The World Health Organisation’s define mental health and wellbeing as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.
Mental health and wellbeing is not just the absence of mental health problems. We want all children/young people to:
∙ feel confident in themselves.
∙ be able to express a range of emotions appropriately.
∙ be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others.
∙ cope with the stresses of everyday life.
∙ manage times of stress and be able to deal with change.
∙ learn and achieve.
If you have any concerns relating to mental health, you can contact the school’s safeguarding team for support or signposting to additional help.
- Who can support you in school?
All staff have a responsibility to promote positive mental health, and to understand about protective and risk factors for mental health. Some children will require additional help and all staff should have the skills to look out for any early warning signs of mental health problems and ensure that children with mental health needs get early intervention and the support they need.
Whilst all staff have a responsibility to promote the mental health of students, staff with a specific, relevant remit include:
Teresa Boddington – Designated Safeguarding Lead Sam Pearce – Designated Safeguarding Lead / Senior Mental Health Lead / SENCo Eve Taylor- Designated Safeguarding Lead / Family Liaison Worker / Mental Health Champion Helen Fry – Designated Safeguarding Lead / Well-Being co-ordinator / Mental Health Champion
Teaching about Mental Health
The skills, knowledge and understanding needed by our children to keep themselves mentally healthy and safe are included as part of our developmental Well-Being Curriculum.
Graduated Response to Mental Health and Well-Being
Universal offer (offered to all children) Well-Being Curriculum
Mental Health Week
Targeted support Access to Mental Health champions (whole family approach)
Referrals to single agencies (Kaleidoscope, Early Help)
Group interventions (SULP, Forest, Social Groups, Building Blocks, Lego Therapy)
Specialist support Drama therapy referrals (in school)
Mental health practitioner referrals (in school)
Access to inclusion support (SEMH or EP)
Children’s Services Referral (to access CAMHS)
EHCP referral → bespoke nurture provision.
- Specialist Services
As part of our targeted provision, the school will work with other agencies to support children’s emotional health and wellbeing including:
o The school nurse
o Inclusion Support Services
o Drama Therapist (in school)
o Mental Health Practitioner (in school)
o CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service)
o Counselling services
o Family support workers
- Useful Resources and Links for Parents
Children and young people display many changes in behaviour as a part of growing up. These changes may be part of being a teenager, but in some cases they could be a sign of a developing mental health conditions. Action for Children have a simple way to help adults remember some of the most common signs that can be useful to look out for if you have concerns about a child or young person’s mental health – ‘MASK’:
M – Mood – Children and young people can become argumentative, aggressive, display negative emotions, and be self-critical. Young people can also become withdrawn.
A – Actions – Look out for changes in eating or sleeping patterns. Other indicators can be signs of bullying, substance misuse (drug or alcohol use) or self-harm (cutting, burning, punching hard surfaces, hair-pulling etc.) For more information on self-harm visit: Self Harm UK
S – Social – Losing touch with friends, a change in friendship groups, appearing lonely or withdrawn can all be signs of a mental health illness. Missing school and losing interest in hobbies etc. are also indicators.
K – Keep Talking – It is common for children and young people to not want to talk about their feelings. Do not give up, carry on asking how they are feeling. Let them know you care and will be there for them.
It can be difficult to talk about mental health issues. For children and young people there may be the concern of being labelled or stigmatised; concern about upsetting those around them; or fear of what may happen to them. For parents and carers there may be concerns about saying the wrong thing; making the situation worse; or concern about treatments.
One of the best things you can do for a child with mental illness is to make them feel safe and loved. Create an atmosphere in your home that is highly supportive, and low in stress. Structure can be vital in helping to create a low-stress environment. Parents and carers could try making a contract with their child that says they’ll talk (or write down/text etc.) if they’re struggling and when they need help. This gives children a safe way to explain their feelings.
Part of a safe environment is having the space for open communication and dialogue. Support your child to be well-versed in self-identifying by regularly asking how they are and checking up. It’s important for parents to help children dealing with mental illness learn how to calm themselves down, identify emotions, and understand how it affects their behaviour.
Some parents fear that the beginning of mental health issues for their child is the end of having a happy, healthy life, but this isn’t usually the case. In fact, many people who struggle with mental illness lead extremely fulfilling lives.
It’s virtually impossible to be completely prepared for what’s to come when a child is diagnosed with mental illness. Naturally, there can be a huge learning curve. Ultimately, your experience of navigating your child’s mental illness will be personal to you. While it’s almost unavoidable that you’ll make mistakes along the way or react poorly at times, you have to be able to forgive yourself. You will likely experience a combination of many conflicting feelings along the way, and that’s okay. You need to look after your own mental health for you to effectively help your child; give yourself time and space and don’t feel you have to do it by yourself.
You are not alone—there are many resources there to help you and your child. Ultimately the most important thing you can do is to love and support your child. Just remember: it’s a process.
Parent Carer Advice on Supporting Children’s Mental Health
- Mental Health and Well-Being Policy