Mental health, Wellbeing & Therapy
At Kingshill, we take mental health and wellbeing of our staff and children very seriously.
Staff wellbeing is integral to promoting a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. In 2019 research by The Health and Safety Executive reported that teaching staff and education professionals had one of the highest rates of work-related stress, depression and anxiety in Britain. Research has also found that teacher stress has an impact on children’s learning in primary schools.
In recent years, mental health problems in children have seen a dramatic increase. In 2020, one in six (16.0%) children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from one in nine (10.8%) in 2017. The increase was evident in both boys and girls. Among those aged 5 to 22 years, 58.9% with a probable mental disorder reported having sleep problems. These figures are from the NHS and are only the tip of the iceburg, particularly since the pandemic. Even the government themselves recognise that children mental health is declining, "There is evidence to suggest that children and young people’s subjective wellbeing has decreased compared to previous years, particularly in relation to their life satisfaction." 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age (mentalhealth.org.uk).
We work very closely with external agencies to support mental health and wellbeing, but it has been highlighted this year, more than ever, that these services are not being appropriately funded and are overwhelmed with their workload. As a result, we haven’t always been able to get the support we felt was needed for our pupils and staff. Therefore, we have decided to be proactive with the support that we can offer.
As a school, we aim to offer appropriate intervention with the hope that our children, when they leave us, will have the skills and understanding to support themselves with their mental health and, hopefully, not fall into the figures highlighted above.
We have appointed an in-house therapist, Shelley. Shelley is a very experienced counsellor who has worked with children and adults. She works with us on Tuesday's and Wednesday's.
Shelley is very professional in her approach; she maintains complete confidentiality and ensures that the parents are well versed at all stages; this methodology attracted us to her work. Pupils will only undertake the services of Shelley if they have been referred to her by a staff member and the parents agree to it happening. Once a referral has been made by a staff member, in the first instance, Shelley will contact the parents and discuss the situation and possible support available with them. Should the parents agree, a 6-week programme of support will take place with parents being kept abreast at key points and at the conclusion.
Parents are also able to speak to the school if they feel that their child would benefit from the service.
We also house a full-time therapy dog called Pepe. Pepe works closely with our children and adults. He supports children to regulate their emotions, build social skills and realign their thoughts. Pepe is a very popular member of our team.
We also undertake nurture interventions 4 afternoons a week. These interventions are carefully planned and delivered to support our pupil's mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing and health.
Should you have any questions regarding wellbeing, mental health or therapy, please contact the school office - firstname.lastname@example.org 01920 465349.
Our adult mental health champion is Mrs Henshaw
Our child mental health champion is Mrs Milbourn