What is Mental Health and Wellbeing?
Mental Health, like physical health, is something we all have. As with physical health, we can all experience positive and ill mental health. Understanding our own mental health and learning strategies to deal with it is extremely important. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
What does it mean at Ashwood?
At Ashwood Spencer Academy, we recognise that Mental Health and Wellbeing are key factors in impacting upon our children and their learning. We are committed to nourishing and safeguarding our whole school community’s wellbeing, mental and physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events. We aim to equip them with skills that they can confidently use throughout their lives to deal with events that may impact upon their mental health and wellbeing.
In November 2020, we were awarded the School Mental Health Award: Bronze by the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University. This award was part of an initiative that aimed to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in schools due to the Department for Education “recognising the direct link between positive mental health in school and successful educational outcomes.”
Led by Mrs Flint, we have a Mental Health and Wellbeing Team who work in school to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for the entire school community. This team consists of staff from all areas of school who have a vested interest and skill-set.
In school, we currently have three staff who are trained Mental Health First Aiders after being trained by Mental Health First Aid England. Mrs Flint, Mrs Mayer and Miss Baines are aware of how to support children who may be experiencing a range of mental health issues.
At Ashwood Spencer Academy, throughout the curriculum children are taught about strategies aimed to promote positive mental health and wellbeing things seen below. Our curriculum tackles topical issues and aims to provoke discussions and gain understanding and acceptance. Our timetable has wellbeing at the heart of it and is approached mindfully.
Our Mental Health and Wellbeing provision operates on a pyramid basis:
We recognise that no staff member in school is a qualified and trained mental health professional, so aim to seek specialised support when necessary. We have a Relate Safe Speak Counsellor who spends a morning a week with us working with particular children who require this specialised support. This is done on a referral basis together with school and parents/carers.
Please do not hesitate to share concerns with your child’s class teacher. They will then work together with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team to work to support your child. If you feel your concerns are serious and need urgent attention, you should either (further information is below):
- Take your child to A&E
- Call 999/111
- Take your child to the GP
How can I seek help outside of school?
You can find more information and resources on local and national help available to you below.
- Your GP: They will be able to provide help and advice. Your GP can also provide access and signpost you to appropriate specialist services and local organisations e.g. CAMHS.
- Call 111: You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
- Call 999: You should call 999 if you feel that there is a mental health emergency and urgent care is needed.
- Attend A&E: As above, if you feel that there is a mental health emergency and urgent care is needed, you can attend your local A&E department.
- NHS Mental Health services: Find local mental health services on the NHS website. http://www.nhs.uk
- Childline: Free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people up to their 19th birthday. 0800 1111. https://www.childline.org.uk
- Mind – Infoline: Offers advice and support to service users; has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help. 0300 123 3393, text number: 86463. http://www.mind.org.uk
- Supportline: Confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. 01708 765200. supportline.org.uk
- The Samaritans: The Samaritans provide a confidential service for people in despair and who feel suicidal. 116 123. samaritans.org.uk
- NSPCC: Provides helplines and information on child abuse, child protection and safeguarding children. 0808 800 5000. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
- Young Minds: Young Minds has a Parent Helpline that offers free confidential telephone and email support to any adult worried about the wellbeing of a child or young person. 0808 802 5544. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents
- Youth Wellbeing Directory: Helps you find support for mental health and wellbeing of young people up to age 25 across the UK. https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/youth-wellbeing/
- YouthinMind: YouthinMind is an online resource for information about mental health and offers brief assessments. It also provides links to other useful books, websites and services. https://youth-in-mind.org/