In the next of our Stress Awareness Month features, Thornhill Community Academy provided an insight into how they’re continuing to support pupils and staff.
Speaking candidly about the internal and external assistance for their educators and students, Designated Safeguarding Lead Nicola Holmes says that the academy aims to be as comprehensive as possible when it comes to offering mental health support.
Children’s mental health is obviously at the forefront of every educator’s mind – taking this into account, how have your pupils been managing throughout these challenging times?
We’ve got a dedicated student wellbeing service in school, which any member of staff can refer a student to, students can self-refer or parents can refer them too.
They receive interventions in there. It can be individual, one-to-one interventions or group interventions and structured over a period of time, so that they receive a programme over, for example, a six-week period.
That’s been running at the school for years and the lady who works in there is constantly updating her knowledge and skills in terms of mental health and emotional wellbeing.
We also work really closely with the other schools in the multi-academy trust and they’re also signed up to National Online Safety as well.
Do you have any plans to mark Stress Awareness Month 2021?
We always tend to join in with national campaigns, such as Time to Talk and ones like that. So, once we’re aware of them, we join in and do things for both staff and students, through social media and such alike.
We send a daily bulletin for staff, which they get to read at the end of the day, and if there’s anything of note we’ll put it in.
Subsequently, I’ve pointed out to staff that it is Stress Awareness Month and linked them to the website which has more information on it.
Have you had the opportunity to utilise some of the mental health resources on our platform?
The module which you have on managing your own stress, I’ve promoted this to staff previously, but I’ve once more reminded them on the bulletin that it’s there for staff to do also.
This will be great for us, because we’ll be able to use it as evidence for the school’s mental health award.
We’ve got a selection of mental health online safety guides on our platform, has the school downloaded and distributed some of these? And if so, which of these have you had the opportunity to share?
Speaking about your ’30-Day Challenge’ guide, we love stuff like that!
Things like this which we can give to the kids is fantastic!
Overall, how helpful would you say National Online Safety has been in supporting your school’s provision around mental health and stress?
It’s just knowing that the resources are there.
The platform is intuitive, so if I know that the training and resources are there, I can generally find things which I’m looking for.
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