New initiatives focus on mental health

Tiverton High School is trying to lead the way when it comes to mental health, a subject that is high profile following the difficulties of the pandemic and lockdown in recent months.

Getting Wellbeing Ambassadors off to a healthy start

mental health ambassadors

We have recently trained 21 Year 9 students as ‘Wellbeing Ambassadors’ for the school.

The students applied for the role and went through training, and will use their new skills and knowledge to develop and lead peer support projects that:

  • reduce mental health stigma
  • improve access to support for all students
  • and encourage the development of positive coping and stress management, reducing the risk of mental health problems in young people now and in later life.

We know that young people can sometimes find it hard to talk to adults about their worries or any difficulties they are facing. Some young people may not have an adult in their life they can trust, and others may feel they’ll be judged or that an adult won’t take their problems seriously. Having other young people who can offer them support or point them to where they can gain specific support is vital to these individuals to protect their mental health and promote wellbeing. The Wellbeing Ambassadors Programme empowers young people to lead wellbeing initiatives to provide peer to peer support such as drop-in sessions, one to one peer coaching, campaigns to increase awareness of mental health and reduce stigma around discussing mental health problems. There are many benefits for the students who are trained as ambassadors as well as the peers who are receiving support.

We are really excited to have students with a skill set to help other students who may need support. These students have some fantastic ideas around raising awareness and supporting students to get help and support. Watch out for further information.

Nicola lane, who has led the project, said: “The team is passionate and striving for a positive change. It’s lovely to be part of something which will impact current and future students.”

These quotes are from among the many positive statements from the students:

“It’s an opportunity to support my peers. It’s an area I’m passionate about and it will help reduce the stigma around mental health.”

“Mental health can effect anyone and anyone can help. I wanted to help recognise and normalise mental health. It was too great an opportunity to ignore”

 

Mental Health Practitioner appointed

We have recently appointed Miss Ley as our school-based mental health practitioner from September. We have always had the mental health and wellbeing of staff and students at the heart of our school, however following a challenging time we recognise the greater need for support within the school.

Miss Ley will work 1:1, with small groups and across the whole school community developing whole school approaches to health prevention and promotion. Interventions will include improving self-esteem, building resilience and developing coping strategies for students who experience anxiety and stress. Early interventions can assist with giving young people a good start in life and reduce or avoid the need for other services, such as mental health treatment, in the long term.

We are excited by the addition to Tiverton High School and know the importance of having such a role at THS.

Mental Health School Award

We are applying for the School Mental Health Award. The Department for Education recognises the direct link between positive mental health in schools and successful educational outcomes. The Mental Health Award for Schools builds on this link and provides a framework for schools to evidence policies and initiatives that work towards improving emotional health and wellbeing for both staff and pupils. Using a development framework, we will evaluate current mental health practices, identify gaps, develop and strengthen these and work towards building an emotionally healthy community for all. We are looking forward to this 12 month journey and filling you in along the way.