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Wellbeing and Mental Health

Wellbeing and Mental Health Page

Here at The High Weald Academy, we understand that the emotional wellbeing of a child is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adult.

The following are ways that we work to support our students with their emotional wellbeing and mental health

  • Designated Positive Mental Health Staff – The academy has a designated member of staff (Mrs Hunn), who are trained to deliver positive mental health support for our students. Those students receiving positive mental health support can expect to have a regular weekly session for an initial period of up to six weeks. 
  • Fegan’s Counselling Service – The academy has access to three hours of designated counselling from a trained counsellor (Natalie EdwardsMoss) provided through the charity Fegan’s. Counselling referrals can be made for a variety of factors and give students the access to one hour of support each week.
  • Mental Health Training for Staff – Our key pastoral staff (Heads of Year and Inclusion Managers) have each completed mental health awareness training delivered through Place 2 Be. This ensures that those pastoral staff working directly with students have a thorough understanding of how best to support students with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • Peer Mentor Support – The academy has a group of trained student peer mentors to support any students who are finding particular areas of school life difficult. This could be for general struggles around settling in and the transition to secondary school, struggling with anxiety or simply needing that additional person to talk about how they are feeling.
  • Kooth – Students have access to a free and anonymous counselling service delivered by trained counsellors through the app Kooth. The service is completely free to all young people and also offers support through the in-app features that are also available for all students to use. More information can be found by visiting www.kooth.com

As well as the above methods of support, the academy will actively promote positive mental health through its pastoral tutor program, the PSHE curriculum and by taking part in events such as Children’s Mental Health Week.

Taking care, how to look after your mental health

There are simple things that children and young people can do to look after their mental health on a daily basis. It’s important to recognise that we are all different and what works for one young person may not work for another.

  • Being in good physical health - Keeping active and getting regular exercise can improve a young person’s mood and reduces stress. Eating well is equally important. There is a link between what we eat and how we feel so it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet for both your body and mind.
  • Sleeping – Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, without it you can’t function properly. Sleep helps us to repair and restore our bodies and minds.
  • Activities and hobbies - Finding an interest they enjoy is a positive distraction and can help increase confidence and self-esteem. This could be playing an instrument, going to sports clubs, drama, art, reading, painting, cooking or writing etc.
  • Spending time with family and friends – Ensure your young person keeps in touch with people who they trust or feel good around and make sure they spend time with them.  The support of a loving family where they feel they belong is essential.
  • Freedom to relax – Young people need to take time out to relax. Relaxing gives your mind and body time to recover from the stresses of everyday life.

Signs of anxiety in young people

If you’re concerned your child may be worried or anxious, look at whether there are changes in the way they think, feel or act. Ask yourself how they are doing at home, school and with friends?

Are they:

  • lacking confidence and can’t face simple everyday tasks
  • finding it hard to focus or concentrate for any period of time
  • having problems sleeping
  • not enjoying food or eating too much food
  • easily irritated and frequently have angry outbursts
  • fearful about everyday things, don’t want to be left alone
  • avoiding talking and engaging in conversation.

 

How parents and carers can help

If your child is experiencing anxiety, there are things that parents and carers can do to help:

  • It's important you are there to listen to your child’s concerns and to talk about their worries to provide reassurance
  • Explain it is normal at times to feel anxious, worried or scared sometimes and most people will have these emotions at some point
  •  Support your child to look for a way forward that will help them to manage their feelings. This  will hopefully mean they will not stop doing the thing or things they are worried about 
  • Help your child to develop a plan or a routine to put in place when they feeling anxious. This can help to build confidence and manage their feelings.

Looking ahead

  • Teach your child to recognise signs of anxiety in themselves
  • Encourage your child to manage their anxiety and ask for help when they need it
  • Work with your child to develop a routine.  Routines provide assurance and encouragement, so try to stick to regular daily routines where possible

When should you get help?

If your child is really struggling you may need additional help.  This could be contacting us, the academy, or an organisation that offers support with mental health.  If you feel your child’s anxiety or low mood is severe and is affecting their everyday life, then contacting your GP is a good place to start to get help.

For additional help and advice regarding wellbeing and mental health please visit:

If you are a young person, talk and share your worries  

Sharing what’s worrying you can help to make it feel more manageable. If you feel that the problems you’re having are too big for you to deal with by yourself, talk to someone you trust: a family member, a teacher at school or another adult you trust.  If you feel you can’t you may want to contact your GP.

If you don’t know who to turn to, or are finding it hard to talk to someone you know about how you are feeling, there is help for you.  You can contact:

Wellbeing and Mental Health support links

For additional help and advice regarding wellbeing and mental health please visit: