Mental health & wellbeing
Over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14, and 1 in 10 children and young people are coping with the challenges of a mental health disorder. Schools are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people’s mental wellbeing. Staff working in schools are ideally placed to recognise and respond to early signs of mental health difficulties in children and young people.
This page identifies how school staff at Brentford School for Girls can support children and young people by identifying mental health problems and by measuring and monitoring the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our pupils.
Our school learning values are:
We are working towards the School's Mental Health Award with the Trauma Informed Schools Society.
Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school. With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.
Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.
However, despite the known benefits of good wellbeing provision, at present the education system is unbalanced. There is too much emphasis on academic attainment and not enough focus on promoting the wellbeing of students. The prominence given to exams and academic attainment within the education system is having a negative impact, with 80% of young people saying that exam pressure has significantly impacted on their mental health.
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN
At Brentford School for Girls we prioritise supporting our young people to build emotional resilience and help them to cope with and bounce back from adversity.
- One to one support with counsellors, GROW Therapeutic Coaching, LVA Trust, pet therapy and trained Safeguarding staff.
- Wellbeing weeks: once per half a term.
- Assemblies- throughout the academic year.
- No Worries- School Nurse drop in service in school.
- BLOSSOM Curriculum
- School's Police Officer drop in service
- Intervention work with pastoral staff (assigned to year groups).
- A family environment.
- A “whole school” approach.
By a “whole school approach”, we mean involving every individual in the school community: pupils, parents and all staff and volunteers, from our Headteacher through to the caretaker and the cook. Crucially, it’s also about strategy and leadership; the systems and structures within the school. Everyone has the chance to understand and implement practical things which will contribute to changes in practice and benefit all the students in the school.
Additionally, this includes the school’s relationship to the local community and wider mental health system, and their confidence and ability to commission relevant services. It can include strengthening relationships with local providers and commissioners to improve pathways into services for children and young people.
A sharp focus on promoting wellbeing, building resilience and good mental health will improve outcomes for our children and young people. The benefits for individuals, families, business and the economy are clear – increased employability, capability and productivity, reduced absence, reduced demand on services and improved family relationships and happiness.
Currently, for many children and young people help is simply coming too late. In order to try and support with this we have put a greater focus on the early identification of problems, earlier intervention, and increased preventative work to tackle the growing crisis of undiagnosed and untreated children’s mental health.
The Government has committed to introducing Relationships and Sex Education for all secondary schools. DfE will also consult on introducing mandatory Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons for all schools. This provides an important opportunity to embed wellbeing and resilience into the curriculum. Alongside this, DfE has announced new Randomised Control Trials to test the effectiveness of interventions aimed at promoting good mental health. However, changes to the curriculum are only part of the solution to improving wellbeing in schools. Lessons should form part of a wider “whole school approach”.
PUPIL Mental Health and Wellbeing
Student Guide: attached below
Coping with shelf harm: attached below
Mindfulness: attached below
Parents' & Carers' Mental Health and Wellbeing
How To Talk To Your Child About Social Media And The Internet
The internet offers huge opportunities. From a young age, children have the chance to learn, research, play games, have fun and connect with family who may not live nearby. But it’s important to help them to use the online world in a way that’s safe and positive for their mental health.
That’s why it’s good to have regular conversations about the internet and social media from a young age – it should be as ordinary as talking about the weather, the dog, or something you’ve watched on TV.
Useful links & guides:
Calderdale Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service Guide for Families
Parent and Carer Guide: attached below