At Ash Green Primary Academy, 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. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events.
The Department for 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 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.
Events celebrated in school:
Children’s Mental Health Week took place from 7-13 February 2022. This year’s theme was Growing Together.
Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 took place from 1-7 February 2021. This year’s theme was Express Yourself.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 took place from 10-16 May 2021. This year’s theme was nature and the environment.
Links to Mental Health and Wellbeing resources and support.
YoungMindsYoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Just as people’s bodies can become unwell, people’s minds can become unwell too. Mental health problems are more common than you might think – three children in every classroom have a mental health problem. Young Minds offer information to young people and children about mental health and emotional wellbeing. If you need to talk, they can let you know about organisations that listen, plus they offer online support and info.
ChildlineChildline is the UK’s free helpline for children and young people. It provides a confidential telephone counselling service for any child or young person with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects. So, if you are worried about anything, big or small – don’t bottle it up. It can really help if you talk to someone. If there is something on your mind, ChildLine is there for you. You can visit the Childline Explore section for advice and information on a range of topics. Also, you can get support on the online message boards. ‘Everyone helps each other out and is going through the same things as me – it’s a really welcoming place’ Freephone 0800 1111 (24 hours and the call won’t show on your phone bill)
SamaritansSamaritans volunteers listen in confidence to anyone in any type of emotional distress, without judging or telling people what to do. Call 0116 123 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
KidscapeKidscape are the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and sexual abuse. The website offers advice and practical skills on how to deal with bullying. Remember, no-one deserves to be bullied. Nearly everyone is bullied at some time in their lives: by brothers and sisters, by neighbours, by adults or by other children/young people. If you are being bullied, you may feel scared, vulnerable and quite alone but you owe it to yourself to try and sort out the situation so that the bullying stops.
Winston’s WishThe death of a parent, brother or sister is one of the most fundamental losses a child will ever face. At Winston’s Wish, they believe that bereaved children need support to make sense of death and rebuild their lives. The Winston’s Wish Helpline offers support, information and guidance to all those caring for a bereaved child or young person. Helpline 08452 03 04 05 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Wednesday evenings, 7pm to 9.30 pm)
KoothFree online support for young people. Kooth counsellors are online Monday-Friday, 12 noon till 10pm and weekends, 6pm till 10pm.
CAMHS crisis hub 0300 123 09 07 (option 1)- for if your child is at crisis point.