The culture and structures within a school can promote their pupils’ mental health. At Falmouth School we follow clear guidance from the Department for Education ‘Mental Health and Behaviour in School’ (DfE 2016). Therefore we;
- Have a committed senior management team who sets a culture of excellence within the school that values all pupils. Through this a sense of belonging is felt in a non-stigmatising way.
- Have an ethos of setting high expectations of attainment for all pupils with consistently applied support. This means clear policies on behaviour which sets out both acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for children.
- Have a strategic qualified teacher who acts as a Special Educational Needs coordinator. Ensuring that all adults working in school understand the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Work with pupils and their parents to ensure their opinions are taken into account and that they are kept informed about progress, attendance and behaviour.
- Provide professional development for all staff working with children across Falmouth MAT that promotes good mental health, what is and isn’t a cause for concern, and what to do if they think they have spotted a developing problem.
- Have processes to identify children with below average attendance with a clear strategy in place to ensure all children are in school within a consistent purposeful environment.
- Have processes to identify children with mental health problems and provide information of a range of support services for families to access.
Schools with these characteristics mitigate the risk of mental health problems in their pupils by supporting them to become more resilient and preventing problems before they arise.
Falmouth Multi Academy Trust is part of Headstart Kernow, Trauma Informed Schools UK and operation encompass. Working in partnership with Sea Sanctuary.
A Childs family have an undeniably important role in promoting wellbeing. The Children’s Society carry our specific research across the county talking to thousands of young people. These are their top tips for you helping promote positive wellbeing for your child;
Quality family time. The Children’s Society state that children who talk to their family about things that matter to them on most days or every day lower their risk of having low wellbeing. Therefore share mealtimes, fewer hours in front of screens and finding activities you can do together will help support your child’s wellbeing.
Face to face contact. Research shows that seeing friends is much better for children than speaking to them online. Try to encourage social activities which are safe and encourage the building of friendships.
Be active. We all need to find time to be active, ensuring that our children are involved in sports or an activity such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, surfing, riding is important not only for development but also later on in life. Evidence shows that group sports are good for enhancing self-confidence and cooperation and can help support new friendships outside of school. There are plenty of activities for students to be involved in after the school day.
Be creative and play. Children grow out of imaginative and creative play much younger since the saturation of screen time. Encourage your child to be involved in creative activities such as the school production or the drama, dance, art or photography club. Many libraries, museums and galleries have free entry, therefore enhancing this aspect of life can be really fun.
Learning. Children who are encouraged to read at home ‘most days’ are less likely to have low wellbeing. Understanding that learning is equally important outside of school as it is in school can raise the sense of achievement children feel from learning new knowledge and skills.
Take notice. The Children’s society research shows that children who notice and enjoy their surroundings most days report better wellbeing. Encouraging our children to live in the moment as well as pay attention to their feelings showing them how to process their emotions in a positive way is probably the most valuable lesson. Therefore being calm (even when we don’t feel it!) is very important to showing our children how to express our feelings in an acceptable manner.
Eat Healthy. Don’t underestimate the importance of a balanced diet. Getting the right mix of vitamins and minerals helps you keep healthy as well as the positive interaction you can have from cooking a meal from scratch together.
There are many organisations offering additional support and advice. The main ones are listed below;
We always advise that if you feel worried that you Visit your GP. Your doctor knows your family medical history, this can be important for offering the right support and guidance. Should you feel significantly concerned about your child then seek Emergency medical intervention immediately.
Online, telephone and advice services;
- Online wellbeing and counselling for young people - https://kooth.com/
- Online wellbeing and counselling for adults - https://www.qwellcounselling.com/
- Offering support on who to talk to and how to get help - https://youngminds.org.uk
- Supporting young people locally - http://www.youngpeoplecornwall.org/
- Essential support for those under 25 - https://www.themix.org.uk/
- Online, on the phone 24 hour advice and support - https://www.childline.org.uk/
- Parenting advice and family support; https://www.familylives.org.uk/
Specific advice and support services;
- Self-refer to the; School nurse team, Health visiting team, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Family support, Targeted Youth Support, Parenting support, Speech and Language
- (SALT) support - https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/earlyhelp
- Eating disorder service - www.cornwallft.nhs.uk/
- Cornwall rape and sexual abuse centre - www.crasaccornwall.co.uk/
- Support for those who have been a victim of sexual and domestic abuse -https://www.firstlight.org.uk/
- Youth support around drug and alcohol misuse - www.addaction.org.uk/.../young-addaction-yzup
Local places to get face to face support;
- The Dracaena Centre - Dracaena Avenue www.dracaenacentre.org/
- Falmouth family hub – Park terrace, Falmouth Tel No. 01326 312493
- The Lighthouse family hub – Jubilee Road, Falmouth Tel No. 01326 317796
- Penryn family hub - Jubilee Wharf Tel No. 01326 312493
Additional drop in sessions held at Falmouth School; for more information contact student services
- Youth club (Dracaena Centre team) weekly lunch time sessions
- Targeted Youth Worker weekly lunch time sessions
- School Nurse Team weekly lunch time sessions
- Falmouth MAT Chaplaincy team twice weekly lunch time sessions