Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

At Yew Tree, we strive to create a school community where children and adults to DREAMBIto achieve Excellence for All.
We will achieve this through being
Determined – Resilient – Empowered– Adventurous – Motivated - Beautifully Behaved – Inclusive and Generous

 

 

When we think and talk about mental health and wellbeing at Yew Tree, we use the World Health Organisation’s definition:

 

 a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

 

We are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all children and adults in the school community. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable, and at times anyone may need additional emotional support.

 

Our Mental Health First Aiders and Change Team Members

 

 

The Wellbeing Award for Schools

Developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) is intended to help schools prepare and equip themselves to promote emotional wellbeing and positive mental health across the whole-school community.

The vision is to create an education system where good emotional wellbeing and mental health are at the heart of the culture and ethos of our school, so that our pupils, with the support of their teachers, can build confidence and flourish.

Evidence shows us that wellbeing is of central importance to learning and attainment, with high levels of wellbeing associated with improved academic outcomes.

Principles behind the award:

There are four key principles driving the ideas and recommendations behind the award:

1. Emotional wellbeing and mental health are a continuum. Related issues can range from positive attitudes and behaviour, through to experiences of emotional distress and mental disorder.

2. Schools already experience and manage emotional issues on a daily basis; the objective is to minimise the impact of such issues and maximise the effectiveness of any responses.

3. Emotional wellbeing covers a range of dimensions, such as resilience, character building, relationships and self-esteem, etc. Understanding both developmental and mental health awareness is critical.

4. Creating a positive school culture requires a whole-school approach that is led from the top while involving all in the school community.

Embarking on the award process does not imply that our school is failing in this area, but rather that we are recognising the needs and demands of our school are changing and we remain committed to responding to these. Much of this change will be apparent in the issues that most schools face on a daily basis.

 The whole-school community:

One theme that is central to the award is the need for schools to draw the wider community and relevant stakeholders into the centre of the change process. Parents and carers are one such group.

Evidence shows that, for parents, the emotional and mental health needs of their children is of increasing concern, and often parents look to the school to support and inform them. Pupils also need to be given the opportunity to express their own voice and this can be an influential source of good ideas for any school looking for innovative and appropriate solutions.

One important aspect of this broad community of stakeholders are utilising those who offer help and support generally and can provide access to specialist interventions. There is no doubt this aspect of a school’s strategy (i.e. how to access different types of help) is often a thorny issue. Currently there are recognised gaps in provision, limits and barriers to getting the help needed and poor communication and understanding of roles.

This award cannot solve these problems, but it will offer ideas and solutions on how best to manage and create links and partnerships needed to help those with clinical needs. As another critical group of the whole school community, the award views the wellbeing of staff as significant as that for pupils. Equipping teachers and others with the know-how and skills needed to be better informed on issues surrounding mental health is essential.

There are five stages in the WAS process and the school will be supported throughout in order to evidence best practice and to achieve the award:

1. School self-evaluation

2. Preparation of an action plan

3. Implementation of actions and collecting evidence into a portfolio

4. Interim assessment and progress

5. Verification of achievement of the award

The award is expected to be achieved within a maximum of 12-15 months. Within this timescale, the process is supportive, developmental and progressive, rather than a box-ticking, target driven exercise.

 

What are the 8 Objectives we are working towards?

The WAS has eight objectives which focus on areas of evaluation, development and celebration of the work of schools in promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. Each of these areas is further broken down into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Objective 1: The school is committed to promoting and protecting positive emotional wellbeing and mental health by achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Objective 2: The school has a clear vision and strategy for promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and mental health, which is communicated to all involved with the school.

Objective 3: The school has a positive culture which regards the emotional wellbeing and mental health as the responsibility of all.

Objective 4: The school actively promotes staff emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Objective 5: The school prioritises professional learning and staff development on emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Objective 6: The school understands the different types of emotional and mental health needs across the whole-school community and has systems in place to respond appropriately.

Objective 7: The school actively seeks the ongoing participation of the whole-school community in its approach to emotional wellbeing

and mental health.

Objective 8: The school works in partnerships with other schools, agencies and available specialist services to support emotional wellbeing and mental health.

 

If you have any questions about the award or comments please contact Miss Lewis - yewtree@knowsley.gov.uk

Please click on the link below for more information for families:

What is Mental Health?

 

We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play to ensure that all members of our community:
  • feel confident in themselves
  • be able to express a range of emotions appropriately
  • be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • cope with the stresses of everyday life.
  • manage times of stress and be able to deal with change.
  • learn and achieve
We take a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health that aims to help children and adults become more resilient, happy and successful and to prevent problems before they arise. This encompasses eight aspects:
  1. Creating an ethos, policies and behaviours that support mental health and resilience, and which everyone understands.
  2. Helping children and adults to develop social relationships, support each other and seek help when they need it.
  3. Helping children and adults to be resilient learners.
  4. Teaching social and emotional skills and an awareness of mental health.
  5. Early identification of children and adults who have mental health needs and planning support to meet their needs, including working with specialist services.
  6. Effectively working with parents and carers.
  7. Supporting and training staff to develop their skills and their own resilience.
  8. Ensuring school workload is conducive to achieving an appropriate work-life balance

 

We also recognise the role that stigma can play in preventing understanding and awareness of mental health issues. We therefore aim to create an open and positive culture that encourages discussion and understanding of these issues.

 

Sign Post Info for Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

 

Excellent website with information for parents/carers .Lots of links to other support sites and fact sheets about issues such as eating disorders, anxiety, and stress.

 

Excellent resource called ‘Mind Plan’- you answer a few questions and it gives you ideas to support you in your own emotional and mental wellbeing. Tabs that cover topics such as mental wellbeing, stress, sleep, low mood. Links to helpful apps as well.

 

Excellent website primarily for young people but has sections for parents. Lots of helpful links for young people to follow on topics like conditions, symptoms, looking after yourself. There are also publications you can download or buy on topics such as depression, mental illness in your family, depression and eating

 

Downloadable resources around the ten keys to happier living and a useful links section for other mental health and wellbeing charities.

 

Lots of information and support and specific section on the workplace and mental health. Access to telephone support, urgent help and information if you want to support other in areas such as anger, anxiety, bereavement etc

 

Links to other mental health organisations, how to get help in a crisis. Search tool to put in topics like ‘depression’, ‘anxiety’ and comes up with useful information and signpost for further help.

 

How to guides to download such as ‘sleep’, ‘how to manage and reduce stress’. Section about your mental health, advice, information , videos etc.

 

Helpline, online resources, opportunity to join the SANE community

 

Section on mental health support for parents and carers

 



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