Mental health and emotional wellbeing affect how you feel, think and act. It is as important to look after your mental health, as it is to look after your physical health.
When Children have good Wellbeing it helps them to
- Learn and explore the world.
- Feel, express and manage positive and negative emotions
- Form and maintain good relationships with others
- Cope with, and manage, change, setbacks and uncertainty.
- Develop and Thrive.
When children look after their mental health and develop their coping skills it can help them to boost their resilience, self-esteem and confidence. It can also help them learn to settle themselves, feel calm, and engage positively with their learning.
(Anna Freud https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/)
There are several risk factors that can affect a person’s mental health including:
- Individual characteristics (i.e. temperament, communication difficulty, learning difficulties)
- Traumatic experiences (i.e. abuse, domestic violence, bullying, long term illness, bullying etc)
- Changes in families and relationships (i.e. separation, divorce, bereavement, loss)
- External factors (poverty, discrimination)
At Woodlands we value the mental health and wellbeing of all our young people and staff and endeavour to support this through several ways including.
- Having a safe positive environment in school which is supported by clear policies, procedures and ethos.
- Working on recognising sensations in the body, naming emotions and having the strategies and communication to help the young person cope and calm themselves. ‘Zones of Regulation’ is a programme of study that is used in Lower Formal to facilitate this.
- Developing social understanding through many tools such as comic strips, social scripts, social communication groups and reflective sessions.
- A comprehensive PSHE curriculum, which covers the topics of Healthy Lifestyles, Mental Health, Growing and Changing, Keeping Safe, Positive Relationships, Managing hurtful behaviour, Respect and Communities. These themes are covered during timetabled sessions during the week.
- All staff have attended Level 1 Compass Buzz Prevention and Promotion training which focusses on Mental health and stigma, risk and resilience, promoting wellbeing and promoting a whole school approach to mental health.
- A number of staff have attended level 2 (Early identification of Need) and level 3 (Early Help and Intervention). Level 2 focuses on a deeper understanding of emotions, knowledge of common mental health disorders and tips for dealing with mental health concerns. Level 3 looks at therapeutic skills, awareness of three evidence based approaches, advice on how schools/colleges can help support their pupils and signposting to outside agencies.
- Staff Wellbeing Champions take an active part in promoting wellbeing activities and events as well as providing information about wellbeing services. ‘Drop In’ sessions for staff allow the Champions to offer an informal listening ear for colleagues. More information regarding the Wellbeing Champions can be found https://woodlands.n-yorks.sch.uk/school-development-plan/staff-wellbeing-champions/
- We have a school council with representation from across the school to ensure that pupils have a voice about aspects of school life that are important to them.
- We work with several agencies to provide an holistic approach to ensure the appropriate support is in place for the young the person, these include
Wellbeing in Mind team , (WIM)
Learning Disability Service