We regularly hear from schools and colleges that they are seeing an increase in pupils with mental health difficulties. As this often impacts on behaviour, attendance and attainment the impact can be long-standing and stressful for all concerned.
Early intervention is vital. We work using a whole-school approach with the belief that everyone has a responsibility for emotional wellbeing. Our services range from increasing pupils’ self-awareness and self-belief, to enabling all staff to identify early warning signs, to ensuring key support staff, safeguarding teams and SLT provide the right support at the right time. Crucially, we can ensure these staff feel supported too.
We can develop a bespoke package to complement your existing SEMH provision, including:
One-to-one counselling sessions
Weekly sessions for children and young people identified as needing more intensive support with their mental health difficulties. This can cover a range of more complex issues including long-term anxiety, depression, loss, bereavement, eating issues, trauma, abuse, family relationships, low self-esteem. We use a range of therapeutic approaches which we can develop to the needs of each individual. This includes play therapy, more suited to younger primary school children, to creative and talking therapies for older children, high school pupils and college students.
Not all pupils would like formal, weekly sessions. Sometimes they just want to know someone is there to talk to if needed, maybe as a drop-in or ad-hoc appointments if they’re having a difficult time. This could be issues with friendships, personal relationships, confidence, work/exam stress, anxiety, managing transitions. We work using a solution-focused, strengths-based approach to ensure lifelong skills can be developed.
Working with a group of pupils who are experiencing similar issues can be effective in helping them to realise they are not alone and encourages them to provide peer support. Mixing creative ways of addressing mental health difficulties and providing psycho-education can prevent issues escalating. We can also provide input to form groups, tutorials or PSHE lessons.
Whether it is developing confidence in having difficult conversations, dealing effectively with disclosures of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, identifying signs of mental health difficulties, conducting risk-assessments, we have it all covered. We will work with you to identify common themes and address them through our training. If you feel there are particular areas you would like to be covered in your primary school, high school or college, please let us know.
Support to pastoral staff and senior leaders
Staff wellbeing is vital. Working with difficult issues daily can take a toll so reflective practice helps to support staff in their roles. We can support you to address the personal impact of the work you do and deepen your understanding of difficult cases you may be managing. One-to-one or group sessions are available off-site and can be the perfect chance for some breathing space.
We can work with you to ensure consistent and effective mental health provision across your school. By assessing what already works well and identifying common themes to be addressed, we can help to improve engagement, retention and attainment. By having a mentally healthy school, you will be helping your management, staff and pupils to thrive.