At Red Rose Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement.
The Department of Education (DfE) recognises that: “ in order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy.” Schools can be a place for children and young people to experience a nurturing and supportive environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience. For some, school will be a place of respite from difficult home lives and offer positive role models and relationships, which are critical in promoting children’s wellbeing and can help create a sense of belonging and community.
Our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their full potential or access help when they need it. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.
Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:
- All children are valued.
- Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
- Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
- Positive mental health is promoted and valued.
- Bullying is not tolerated.
Within school we have a trained mental health first aider and run various interventions to help children develop coping strategies . For example: Relaxation club, mindfulness and a counselling service. Each classroom has a daily emotional check-in board that follow the ‘Zones of regulation’ principles.
We are currently involved in working with Durham County Council ‘Health and Wellbeing’ framework where we have pledged to support and audit our wellbeing provision. This will demonstrate how wellbeing and mental health in our pupils, staff and parents are at the forefront of our school’s vision of leading a mentally healthy school.
We are also involved in a pilot project with the Local Authority which is working in partnership with various external organisations to support families and children to recognise the signs of anxiety and strategies to address this.
Below are some links to key organisations offering professional and confidential help:
A leading mental health charity with information about where to access support, legal advice and confidential help lines.
A West Sussex service where you can find local wellbeing information and services. You can also get support for things like getting your family fitter, doing some regular exercise, dealing with stress, kicking a habit, or simply improving your general wellbeing.
A website for young people and also their careers. This website includes advice on how to look after yourself as well as lots of helpful and friendly information.
Alternatively you can contact the Community CAHMS Consultation Service who offer a consultation service to parents, carers and professionals. They give you the opportunity to discuss your concerns about a young person’s emotional well-being before a referral is made. Experience shows that an early consultation can often address concerns and save the need for a referral. If they are not the right service for you, they can signpost you to an alternative one.