Supporting Mental Wellbeing at High Storrs School
This month’s HSS Blog comes from Mrs Hammett who is our Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion. Her role includes the leadership of our work to support mental wellbeing for our students. In a similar way to provision for physical wellbeing, young people are supported by their families and services outside school but schools also have role to play to support mental wellbeing alongside our work educating young people. In recent times, the need for support from staff in schools to initiate or complement the support in the family or from mental healthcare services has increased. This blog gives an overview of how we are responding to that increased need at HSS.
Supporting mental wellbeing at High Storrs School
Positive mental health is important to a positive school experience for our young people. Here at High Storrs, we are conscious of our duty to provide pastoral care which supports positive mental wellbeing. Our House and Sixth Form pastoral teams are staffed by experienced, nurturing individuals. The Student Support Assistants are not teachers and so are available for students for a considerable amount of the school day. Moreover, the Heads of House and Heads of Year in Sixth Form are, in part, chosen for their ability to connect with students when they may be at their most vulnerable.
We are also proud to be a Healthy Minds school and continue to work closely with our link Psychologist, Dr Ogielda. Since April 2021 we have been fortunate in having the services of a CAMHS Educational Mental Health Practitioner, Jacqui Wright. Jacqui is in school each Tuesday and carries out Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with some of our students. Students are referred by our pastoral team and each case is carefully considered by both Jacqui and Dr Ogielda. As well as this vital work, Jacqui will be carrying out group work with identified students, around managing anxiety. She has also been instrumental in gaining feedback from our Year 12 and Year13 Mental Health representatives about improving the school offer to Sixth Form.
Exam time is always an area of anxiety for many of our students and families often feel helpless in knowing how best to support their children. Dr Ogielda’s team will be delivering a virtual session to parents in December- watch this space for further information about how to join the event.
A large aspect of our role in school is to signpost the professional services that students can access for support. Often it is pastoral staff who talk to students and parents about where they can turn for support but sometimes families want to look through information together. With this in mind we have developed a very comprehensive Mental Health and Wellbeing page of the school website. It was put together by Abi Osborne, our Senior Student Support Assistant and valuable member of the Mental Wellbeing Team.