Mental Health at St John's
Knowledge and skills to improve mental health are taught explicitly through our PSHE curriculum but it is also embedded in across all areas of the curriculum.
We use the language of mental health frequently to break down stigma and educate children in understanding mental health without fear.
Our PSHE curriculum is progressive and age appropriate so that children can build up their knowledge and understanding. Children understand how mindfulness supports positive mental health and practice techniques.
Our Collective Worship programme also supports children's mental health.
Mental Health First Aid and Champions
Our Mental Health First Aiders and Champions act as a first point of contact for someone who may have mental health issues, providing support and guidance. As well as being someone to talk to whenever anyone is struggling, they act as an advocate for mental health throughout school helping to reduce stigmas and enact positive change.
Our Mental Health First Aiders are:
Annie Holt - Inclusion Manager
Karen Illingsworth - Family Liaison Officer
Lesley Allen - Business Leader
How we can help parents / carers to seek further support with your children's mental health
Referral to your child's GP / Doctor
We can work with parents/carers and support them in getting professional help for their child through their GP if we are concerned about a child's mental health. Supporting a child with a mental health concern such as depression or anxiety can be really hard and it is important for them to speak to a GP to get some professional help if they are really struggling. This should be the first step to take if you are concerned about your child's mental health.
The child may want to speak to their GP on their own or they may want their parents/carers to be there with them. Sometimes young people can find it easier t talk about their feelings with someone they don't know.
NSPCC and ChildLine
We have assemblies in school delivered by the NSPCC / ChildLine and posters displayed around school to make pupils aware of the Childline service. Staff at school will also signpost children to Childline if needed.
Childline is free and it is a confidential service for young people under 18. Children can talk to a trained counsellor over the phone, online in a 1:1 chat or via email about anything that is worrying them - this service is available 24 hours a day. Many young people find this useful as they find it easier to be honest about their mental health with someone they don't know.
The Childline website also has lots of information for young people including advice and coping techniques for:
- anxiety and managing anxiety
- suicide and coping with suicidal feelings
- eating problems and body image
- building confidence and self-esteem
- Mental Health and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
ChildLine's number is 0800 11 11
Referral to CAMHS
If a child has been feeling unhappy or anxious for a long time, or is showing signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, it's important to consider professional help so that they can get the support they need.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a free NHS service for children and young people under 18. CAMHS can help young people who are struggling with serious mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, panic attacks or eating problems.
Referrals are usually done through the GP but unfortunately it can take several weeks for an initial assessment. Schools can also make referrals through the school nursing team. Social services can also refer young people to CAMHS if they are already supporting a child.