Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental Health and Wellbeing
“Mental health is 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.”
(World Health Organisation, 2014)
A culture of care and wellbeing for all
All at St Michael's Easthampstead are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff and our wider community to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive, knowing that there is always someone there to listen and support. Positive mental wellbeing is essential if children and young people are to flourish and lead fulfilling lives.
We acknowledge that, as a school, everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times anyone may be in need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play and in so doing, fulfil our promise to ‘Go above and beyond with love’.
Two key elements to support good mental health are:
Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. Including feelings like curiosity, engagement and safety.
Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world, this includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.
Our pupils will be able to manage times of change and stress, and be supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it.
Our pupils will be taught when to seek help, what help is available, and the likely outcome of seeking support so that they have the confidence and knowledge for themselves or others.
Our pupils will learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health and how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
As part of our targeted provision, we will have and continue to access, outside help and support for pupils when required.
Opportunities for good physical health and wellbeing as it is just as important as good mental health. Having the physical opportunities supports the mental stresses. PE, play and opportunities during after school clubs and sporting competitions support this.
We will promote opportunities for pupil leadership to shine. We are planning opportunities to grow young leaders, for example future Wellbeing Buddies and Play Leaders, who will help organise activities and games during play times to encourage higher levels of physical activity and promote inclusion.
By working together as a school community, our vision is to create a safe and nurturing environment where every child can flourish and reach their potential, placing value on promoting positive physical, emotional and mental health through our PSHE curriculum, and events such as World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Weeks.
School Mental Health Lead
A recommendation from the Government’s 2018 green paper 'Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper’ was that every school and college would have a non-statutory designated lead for mental health by 2025. This role is now named Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) and it’s recommended a person holding this role is on the school’s senior leadership team. The Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) for St. Michael's Easthampstead is Shaun Riordan (Assistant Headteacher), supported by our SENCo and Family Support Advisor, and full training is planned for 2023.
The SMHL role includes:
Creating a whole school approach to mental health.
Developing a Mental Health and Wellbeing group.
Developing the Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy in consultation with staff, Governors, Parents and Pupils.
Overseeing mental health focus groups that take place in school.
Providing training and CPD. The designated lead will be a trained member of staff who is responsible for the school's approach to mental health.
Overseeing the help the school gives to pupils with mental health problems.
Helping staff to spot pupils who show signs of mental health problems.
Offering advice to staff about mental health.
Staff receive regular training on safeguarding and issues relating to promoting children’s welfare and well-being and staff are fully conversant of their role and responsibility as outlined in the Department of Educations publication: "Keeping Children Safe in Education".
In 2023, as the SMHL training progresses, further training will be provided to staff members across the school as well as exploring the DfE's Education staff wellbeing charter.