Mental Health

Conversation starter

Having received rave reviews about our Homphobia campaign and building on our robust Safeguarding and Anti-bullying policies, the Pastoral team at Arden have been working with students to raise the profile of our work on Emotional health.

‘Project Headspace’ began with our new intake in September 2015 and offers support to new starters struggling with worries during their transition to upper school. Using relaxation and meditation techniques the children are enrolled, in consultation with Parents, on a six week programme of twice weekly sessions. The programme is also available in Year eight.

Our whole school launch earlier this term involved members of the School council and Senior pupil teams meeting to discuss their perceptions of how mental health is supported in school. Their insights led to a school-wide assembly and discussion based on the national ‘Time to Talk’ campaign. Have a look at the ‘conversation starter’ shown above – this simple ‘Chatterbox’ was given to every student in the school and the assemblies prompted a number of important conversations between youngsters and adults in the school facilitating crucial intervention in a number of key cases. This success in removing barriers to reporting concerns is something we hope to build on in coming months.

This assembly was followed up with a further assembly and tutorial week focussing on self-management for mental health during which we launched ‘Mindful meditation’, an intervention for KS4 and KS5 students to learn relaxation for exam-related stress and general anxiety. We also drew the attention of students to the benefits of physical activity for their mental as well as physical wellbeing and reinforced the preventative power of talking to peers, family and trusted adults in school.

If you have concerns about the mental health of a minor, please contact a member of our Pastoral team – it’s ‘Time to Talk’ and we’re here to listen. If you have any expertise or access to support that you think we might benefit from, again, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mrs K Brennan