Mental Health and Wellbeing
Ailsa Clark - Designated Mental Health Lead (DMHL) for the Sussex Spires Federation
Our cross federation Wellbeing Team meets once every half term to discuss and priorities the mental health needs of our pupils and staff.
Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual recognises 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 his or her own community.
World Health Organisation, August 2014
Our offer at ASSR
Our offer for Mental Health and Wellbeing support at ASSR is a high quality programme of inhouse support and specialist intervention from trained professionals.
Our staff and Governing Board strongly believe that Mental Health and Wellbeing is a priority, and this links directly to our own school vision :
Learning to be the best we can be, Loving all God’s kingdom, Living life to the full.
John 10.10: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
We are proud to offer a range of additional specialist services at school to support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our pupils. These services are available to any child who is in need of support, and are at no additional cost to families.
Some of our current mental health and wellbeing specialist interventions:
- Claire Aronson, Harriet Watkins, Nicky Woods - Thrive Licensed Practitioners
- Dinah Shepperd - Childrens' counsellor from Fegans
- Laura Deane and Bobbi - Pets as Therapy licensed therapy dog
- Andrew Wright - Action your Potential, Neuroscience and Wellbeing
- Play therapist - TBA
What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing?
Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time and neither does it mean avoiding stresses altogether. One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.
In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times, so that staff can be aware of the need and support this.
Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, just as they are for adults, but it is important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.
If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us. Sometimes children will need additional support for a short period – this may be in the form of a daily check-in with a trusted adult, time to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of moving forwards with this.
If your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age, then please speak to your child's teacher.
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.
Triple P – gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships, confidently manage their children’s behavior and prevent problems developing.
MindEd for Families – advice and information from trusted experts to help improve understanding of mental health problems, and how parents and carers can best support their families.