Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Wardley, we are committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff to ensure that the school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive.
Who has mental health?
We all have mental health. It is about how we think, feel and act and changes over time.
What is mental health?
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.
Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.
Although most children generally grow up with good mental health, some research suggests a rise in mental health problems faced by children and young people today, compared to 30 years ago. It is thought that this is probably because of changes in the way that we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
What can help improve wellbeing?
Various factors play a role in keeping children and young people mentally well. These include:
- Physical Health: Maintaining good physical health through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Play and Freedom: Having time and freedom for both indoor and outdoor play.
- Family Harmony: Being part of a family that generally gets along well.
- School Support: Attending a school that prioritises the well-being of all its pupils.
- Community Engagement: Participating in local activities designed for young people.
Other essential factors:
- Emotional Well-being: Feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued, and safe.
- Engagement in Life: Being interested in life and having opportunities for enjoyment.
- Hope and Optimism: Cultivating a sense of hope and optimism.
- Learning and Success: Having the ability to learn and opportunities to succeed.
- Self-Acceptance: Accepting oneself and recognising personal strengths.
- Sense of Belonging: Feeling a sense of belonging within family, school, and community.
- Autonomy: Perceiving some control over their own life.
- Resilience and Problem-Solving: Possessing the strength to cope with challenges (resilience) and problem-solving skills.
What support does the school offer?
What should I do if my child is facing challenges with their mental health and well-being?
Mental health isn't synonymous with perpetual happiness, nor does it mean avoiding life's stresses entirely. One crucial way to support your child is through active listening and taking their feelings seriously.
Negative feelings and worries in children often naturally pass with the support of parents, caregivers, and families. Keeping the school informed about these challenges allows staff to be aware and provide necessary support.
Coping and adapting to setbacks are vital life skills for both children and adults. It's important that children develop positive coping skills instead of negative ones. If you have concerns about your child's mental health or wellbeing, just as you would for their learning, please come and talk to us. Sometimes, children may need additional short-term support, such as a daily check-in with a trusted adult or time to discuss their feelings and develop strategies for moving forward.
If your child is distressed for an extended period, if negative feelings hinder their daily life, disrupt family dynamics, or if their behavior is consistently unexpected for their age, please speak to your child's teacher. We believe in open communication and working together to ensure the wellbeing of your child.
Looking after yourself
If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with very difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t deserve any help.
Come and talk to us, in confidence and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.
Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.