In school we recognise the importance of good mental health and promoting the wellbeing of our pupils and staff.
Please click HERE to read our Mental Health Newsletter.
Our strategy for promoting wellbeing and supporting pupils who may have poor mental health is as follows:
- Mrs Woffendin has completed training and is now our Senior Mental Health Lead in school. She is also undertaking work to achieve the "Healthy Minds Chartermark" for our school. This shows our school's commitment to support the wellbeing and mental health of everyone working in Education. More information can be found on these links.
- Mrs Woffendin is working closely with the Educational Psychology team on a whole school Mental Health and Wellbeing action plan to further develop and support in school.
- We have two trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in school: Mrs Macdonald and Mrs Dickerson who are available to support both the pupils and the staff.
- Mrs Janice Parfett is our named Governor for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- We are working very closely with the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) who will be working in school 1 day a week to support children 1:1, in groups and to work with parents.
- Each class has pastoral support from their class teacher and support assistant.
- 1:1 or group support with out Parental Involvement Worker, Mrs Macdonald, or our Mental Health First Aiders (as above).
- Each class has a "worry box" which enables them to self-refer themselves so they can confidentially ask for support from key adults in school.
- A course of 1:1 Play Therapy with our trained Play Therapist, Natalie Rees.
- A course of 1:1 Art Therapy with our trained Art Therapist, Mrs Dickerson.
- Forest Schools sessions with our trained Forest School Practitioner.
- Weekly Wellbeing assemblies.
- Our School Council are having a focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing this year and are working in a focus group called Wellbeing Warriors" with staff, parents and Governors to help develop provision and support for pupils and staff.
- We conduct regular questionnaires with pupils, staff and parents for feedback on the support and provision we provide in school for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing sessions taught through our RSE curriculum.
- Whole School collaborative and fundraising events.
More information on the Education Wellbeing Charter can be found below:
Signs of depression or anxiety in children
Signs of depression or anxiety in children can sometimes look like normal behaviour, particularly in teenagers who are able to keep their feelings to themselves.
It's also natural for children or young people to feel stressed or anxious about things like exams or moving to a new school. But while these experiences can be very difficult, they're different from longer term depression or anxiety, which affect how a child or young person feels every day.
It can help to think about what's normal for the child if you have noticed signs that they have been behaving differently recently.
Signs of depression in children can include
Signs of anxiety in children can include
Helping a child with depression or anxiety
The most important think you can do is to reassure the child and not judge them for how they are feeling.
Ways to help a child who is struggling include;
- letting them know you are there for them and are on their side.
- try talking to them over text or on the phone if they don't feel able to talk about it in person.
- being patient and staying calm and approachable, even if their behaviour is upsetting to you.
- recognising that their feelings are valid and letting them know it is okay for them to be honest about how they are feeling and what it is like for them
- thinking of healthy ways to cope and things you could do together such as yoga, breathing exercises and other mindfulness activities.
- encouraging them to talk to a GP, someone at school, or even Childline. Especially if they are finding it hard hard to talk at home.
Please see links below to an Emotion Coaching poster and guide. Emotion Coaching is a technique you can use to help your child cope and understand their thoughts and feelings.
Getting support for children's mental health
In school we support pupils well if they have any worries, anxiety or depression. Mrs Macdonald and Mrs Dickerson are Mental Health First Aiders and regularly support children and their families if we are concerned about a child.
Children who may be having problems are quickly identified in school. All staff have undergone Mental Health training and Attachment Trauma Training so they can quickly identify the signs of declining Mental Health and know how to act accordingly to support them. Many teaching and support staff also have an accredited qualification in Children and Young People's Mental Health. As a school we also receive support from the Bradford Early Help and the School Nursing Team who can be utilised to provide Mental Health support for the children
We work with parents and support them in getting professional help for their child through their GP if we are concerned about a child's Mental Health. Supporting a child with a Mental Health concern such as depression or anxiety can be really hard and it is important for them to speak to a GP to get some professional help if they are really struggling. This should be the first step to take if you are concerned about your child's mental health.
The child may want to speak to their GP on their own or they may want their parents to be there with them. Sometimes young people can find it easier t talk about their feelings with someone they don't know.
We have assemblies in school delivered by The NSPCC and posters displayed around school to make pupils aware of the Childline service, staff at school will also sign post children to Childline if needed.
Childline is free and it is a confidential service for young people under 18. Children can talk to a trained counsellor over the phone, online in a 1:1 chat or via email about anything that is worrying them - this service is available 24 hours a day. Many young people find this useful as they find it easier to be honest about their mental health with someone they don't know.
The Childline website also has lots of information for young people including advice and coping techniques for:
- anxiety and managing anxiety,
- suicide and coping with suicidal feelings,
- eating problems and body image,
- building confidence and self-esteem,
- Mental Health and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS).
If a child has been feeling unhappy or anxious for a long time, or is showing signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, it's important to consider professional help so that they can get the support they need.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) is a free NHS service for children and young people under 18. CAHMS can help young people who are struggling with serious mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, panic attacks or eating problems.
Referrals are usually done through the GP but unfortunately it can take several weeks for an initial assessment. Schools can also make referrals through the school nursing team. Social services can also refer young people to CAHMS if they are already supporting a child.
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Help and online support to help and prevent suicide and depression.
Call: 0800 585 858
- Change Grow Live
Confidential drug and alcohol service for young people.
Call: 0808 169 8711
Free advice and support for young people (under 19's)
Call: 0800 11 11
- Family Action
Practical, financial and emotional support to isolated or disadvantaged families across the country.
Call: 0808 802 6666
Text: 07537 404 282
- Family Lives
Help and support for struggling families.
Call: 0808 800 2222
Practical and emotional support for the LGBT+ community who are experiencing domestic abuse and violence.
Call: 0800 999 5428
- Lone Parent Helpline
Guidance and support for single parents around the key issues they face, including benefits and childcare.
Call: 0800 018 502
- ManKind Initiative
Support for male victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Call: 01823 334 244
- MIND Mental Health
Advice and support to support mental health issues and promote awareness.
Call: 0208 215 2243
- National Autistic Society
Advice for impartial, confidential information along with advice and support for autistic people and their families and carers.
Call: 0808 800 4140
- National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)
Advice and protection against domestic violence.
Call: 0800 970 2070
Text: NCDV to 60777
- PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
Advice, support and mediation of health and care related matters in local trusts.
Call: 0800 587 2108
If you're worried about a child feeling suicidal
While not every child with depression or anxiety will feel suicidal, sometimes mental health problems can feel overwhelming for children and young people. If a young person talks about wanting to hurt themselves, or they express suicidal feelings, they should always be taken seriously.
Signs that a child or young person may be having suicidal feelings or thinking about suicide, include;