More and more school children are struggling to cope with their mental health. Amidst rising rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm in children and young people.
Good mental health is fundamental to be able to thrive in life. If we’re not tackling mental health problems early, then we risk failing the next generation right at the start of their lives.
GNSA School Strategy for Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Increase awareness and understanding among staff and parents/carers of issues involving the mental health of young people
- Detect and address problems in the earliest stages
- Increase the appropriate level of support available to students, staff and parents/carers with mental health issues in partnership with outside health agencies and child support groups
- Continue to promote positivity around mental wellbeing
- Reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues such as:
- Eating disorders
- Loss of bereavement
Through PSHE, assemblies and workshops students explore the root causes that lead to distress, be it body image, relationships or exam stress, we can help build resilience and prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place.
Counsellor and Drama therapist services
At GNSA we offer an in-house counselling and drama therapist service to students to try and address the emotional needs that children and young people can have in response to experiences such as family breakdown and reconfiguration, bereavement, loss, family and peer relationship difficulties, anxiety and bullying.
Counselling can be an effective source of support for pupils, enabling them to function better both in and outside of school, enhancing their resilience and giving them resources to manage any future difficulties. Our Counsellor is an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
The Drama therapist is an accredited member of the British Association of Drama Therapists (BADth) and has extensive drama and movement background, specialising in the use of creative play, stories, and movement as tool for exploration of feelings. Sessions are client led and give equal time to allow a natural progression of exploring the past and how this affects the present thinking and actions.
Childrens Welfare Practitioner
The Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP) is a mental health worker trained in helping children, young people and their families manage their mental health difficulties. We aim to help build up emotional wellbeing and resilience in young people and their families. The CWP at GNSA focuses on early intervention strategies to support students with low mood, anxiety and behavioural difficulties.
Mental Health Ambassadors ('I See You' 6th Form Group)
A small group of sixth form students have been trained by Mental health First Aid England (MHFA) to offer a service to our students that allows them to be honest and open about their feelings. The training has equipped the students to know how to deal with some minor issues but know how and when to refer more serious concerns.
The course entitled ‘Youth MHFA Lite’ is designed to raise awareness on young people’s mental health issues and help support them more effectively. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students who gained such valuable insight on issues surrounding mental health which are sometimes not deemed to be as important as physical illnesses. Students are able to drop in to visit the ‘I see you’ group at lunchtimes in a designated area or write a note of worry about themselves or a friend in a box which is monitored regularly.
Seasons for Growth
This program supports students in understanding and responding to the issues they may experience as a result of death, separation, divorce or any other significant change or loss in their lives. The programme consists of four levels from the ages of 6 years to 18 years and comprises of eight formal sessions, one celebration session and two reconnection sessions, the latter of which is optional.
Tootoot has been introduced with the aim of enabling pupils across the MAT to report any concerns or worries in a discrete and confidential way. It is an online reporting platform which promotes pupil voice and provides students with an alternative method of disclosing information and seeking support. The safeguarding team are alerted instantly when a disclosure is made and next steps are put into place. For further information visit www.tootoot.co.uk.
Kooth Online Mental Health Service
At GNSA we work with Kooth who are an online counselling service aimed at supporting students with a range of emotional issues. Students are able to chat to the helpful team about anything that’s on your mind. Message us or have a live chat or Start or join a conversation with our friendly Kooth community. Lots of topics to choose from!
- https://calmharm.co.uk/ - This is app designed to distract young people from self-harm. It’s NHS approved and can be useful for distraction techniques
- Self Harm UK – 8 week courses for young people aged 14-19 struggling with self-harm
- Self-Injury Support – Dedicated helpline, textline and e-mail support for girls and young women affected by self-harm
- Home - TrueTube have some short resources/video clips around self harm