Mental Health & Wellbeing
At St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff.
We all have mental health. Your mental health affects how you feel, think and act. It refers to your emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Your mental health can change and fluctuate on a daily basis and over time, and can be affected by a range of factors. It’s important to look after your mental health, as you would look after your physical health. Your state of wellbeing affects how you cope with stress, relate to others, make choices, and play a part in your family, community, workplace and among your friends.
We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
At our school we:
- help children to understand their emotions and feelings better
- help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- help children socially to form and maintain relationships
- promote self esteem and ensure children know that they count
- encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
- help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
We offer different levels of support:
- Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance developing resilience for all.
- Additional support– For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
- Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors.
As well as a whole-school approach, our school offers support through targeted approaches for individual pupils or groups of pupils which may include:
- On site learning mentor, Mr. Laurie.
- Circle time approaches or ‘circle of friends’ activities.
- Targeted use of PSHE resources.
- Managing feelings resources e.g. ‘worry boxes’ and ‘worry eaters’
- Managing emotions resources
- Primary Group Work/Mental health and wellbeing groups
- Pastoral support groups.
- Therapeutic activities including art, Lego and relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
- CBT Programmes with Collins-Donnelly Consultancy. Mr. Kim Holden our CBT visits us once a week to work with some of our most vulnerable children.
- Catholic Care- We have a weekly visit from Catholic Care, who has a wealth of experience working with children from all backgrounds. Catholic Care offers support for children and young people who may be vulnerable for a range of reasons, and can help children to build resilience, nurture emotional development, address personal and social issues, and help children develop new attitudes, values and skills to help them through life. For your child to access Catholic Care, parents should contact the school office for a Catholic Care Application Form. This service is available for all children, Catholics and non-Catholic.
Wakefield Support and Services
There are a range of services on offer across the Wakefield area to support children and young people.
Wakefield 0-19 Services
The Wakefield and Bradford 0-19 services can help parents, children and young people from antenatal care onwards. This includes help from midwifes, health visitors, and the school nursing team.
Better Lives, Healthy Futures is a hub of information about all different topics for children and young people aged 0-19, plus contact information for the healthcare professionals working in this service.
Bereavement can affect anyone. Star Bereavement is a specialist charity for young people aged up to 25 who are struggling to cope with grief and loss.
Based in Wakefield, Star Bereavement can offer support to young people and their family and friends in the form of 1-to-1 support, peer support, group support and text support.
WF-I-CAN is a Wakefield support service for children and young people, and is divided into sections for under-13 and over-13 to ensure the topics are most appropriately phrased for your child.
Resources include tips on friendships and relationships, healthy eating, happiness and energy, and provides a place for children to access support directly online.
(Please note the above link directs to the under-13 area of the website.)
Wakefield CAMHS Resources
The Wakefield CAMHS Team (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are the central mental health team for young people in Wakefield.
They have compiled a selection of resources that can be used by children, parents and carers, and education staff to help with issues such as:
- Anxiety and health anxiety
- Phobias and OCD
- Friendships and relationships
- Low mood
- School and education
- Mindfulness and unhelpful thoughts
Your child does not need to be under CAHMS in order to access these resources; they are available to all, free of charge.
Children First Hubs
Children First Hubs can help children and families in the local area with a range of issues. Support can be provided for families with at least two of the following:
- School attendance problems
- Have a child who needs help
- Domestic abuse
- Employment and debt problems
- Health problems
- Crime and Anti-social behaviour problems
Please visit the website to find your local hub, and how to contact them.
Returning to School
CAMHS 28-Day Mindfulness Challenge
This helpful resources from CAMHS is designed for families returning to full-time school life, and who would benefit from additional preparation ahead of the return.
With a different mindfulness activity every day for 28 days, you can use this resource at any time to help your child prepare for their return to school.
While the topic of the resource is based around returning after school closures, it also includes helpful activities which can be used at any time to help support your child’s mental health and well-being.
These resources are from trusted national agencies and helplines, and can provide online, phone or in person support when required.
NSPCC – Child mental health
This helpful resource can be used by parents or professionals to understand how to recognise and respond to any mental health concerns you may have about your child. It is an in-depth guide, and provides a helpful overview of the signposts of mental ill-health in children.