Wellbeing

                                                            

  Mary McAvoy - Inclusion Leader & DSL                                                                                                       Ness Rogerson - Wellbeing Officer

At Bishop Perrin School, the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of our pupils, staff and families is a priority.  We believe in promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. It is important that we ensure school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive.  The contents of this page will help to keep you informed about ways you can support your child at home and where you can access support.

 

We have a Wellbeing Officer: Ness Rogerson who manages our wellbeing resources (which includes prioritising access to our trained ELSAs and access to the local mental health support team). The Wellbeing officer also oversees our wellbeing school initiatives and supports staff in delivering them.

 

Each year, there is a wellbeing week during which we explore a range of wellbeing strategies with the children that they can apply in their everyday lives and then follow up on the strategies explored in day-to-day practise.

 

Our Wellbeing Officer is available to support staff with their wellbeing and can direct them to relevant support agencies should this be desired.

 

Who has mental health?

We all have mental health – some people call this emotional health or wellbeing.

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. In the same way as physical health can vary over time, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell and can fluctuate on a daily basis. The majority of children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that at the present time more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than they did in the past. It is thought that this is probably because of changes in the way that we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.

What helps?

There are many ways that children and young people can be supported to be mentally well.  Some of these include:

•         being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise

•         having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors

•         being part of a family that gets along well most of the time

•         going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils

•         taking part in local activities for young people.

Other factors are also important, including:

•         feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe

•         being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves

•         being hopeful and optimistic

•         being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed

•         accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at

•         having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community

•         feeling they have some control over their own life

•         having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.

What happens in school?

At Bishop Perrin School, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.

 

The PSHE curriculum explores how we can support children to develop social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health from beginning, help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. The curriculum is designed to help children to understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to thrive in their community.

What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing?

One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.  Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time and nor does it mean avoiding stresses altogether.

In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times, so that staff can be aware of the need and support this.

Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, just as they are for adults, but it is important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.

If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us. Sometimes children will need additional support for a short period – this may be in the form of a daily check-in with a trusted adult, time to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of moving forwards with this.

If your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age, then please speak to your child's teacher who will signpost you to the best professionals to talk to at school.

Looking after yourself

If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with very difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t deserve any help.

Come and talk to us, in confidence and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.

Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.

 

Below are some links to websites offering advice in ways in which you can support your child’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing:

"Helping Children With..." Workshops

Emotional Health Support Services for Children & Families

Young Minds - practical advice to help you support children and young people - from encouraging them to open up, to navigate mental health services and finding the right help

Place2be - national charity that works to improve children's mental health

CAMHS - created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support your mental health and well-being

AfC Emotional Health Service - local service available to support children's mental health

Information about Mental Health Support Teams in Schools – Richmond

Accessing support from the Mental Health Support Team (MHST)

ADHD Embrace - a local  charity supporting children and families of children with ADHD

The Anna Freud Centre - a world leading mental health charity for children and families

For children who have experienced a bereavement, this website offers resources and advice, as well as a counselling service:

Kingston Bereavement Service - a friendly, local charity supporting children, young people, adults and families who have been bereaved