At Mount Pleasant Primary School promoting and supporting mental health is extremely important. We know that mental health is as important as physical health. Through our Darwin Growth Curriculum (DGC) and PSHE lessons, we teach our children how to be healthy both mentally and physically and talk about this in terms of healthy eating, sleeping and exercise. The DGC also develops children’s sense of self-belief to develop the qualities and attributes they need to thrive as individuals.
Identifying Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs
Severn Bridges MAT follows the I-thrive model when identifying children’s mental health and wellbeing needs.
We have developed our 'Schools Approach to Supporting Mental Health' with the aim to make access to the support informative and more easily available, with clearer pathways for both staff and families. Support and provision for anger, anxiety, grief and loss, bullying and friendships, attachment and self care is in a tiered approach with different levels depending on the needs required. Support at the 'Universal' (green level) and 'Early Help' (blue level) must be accessed by parents before moving on to the Targeted 'Early Help' (orange level) where schools can make referrals to outside agencies. If you have any concerns about your child please discuss these with class teachers, where they will be able to help signpost you to the support at the 'Universal' and 'Early Help Level'. Mrs Jones, our SENCo and Mental Health Lead, will be able to support from the 'Early Help Level' in accessing 'Targeted Early Help'. The document includes a directory of all of the support resources that are signposted within each of the areas.
In the Autumn term, we carry out the SMILE Survey with all children from Year 1 to Year 6. The survey is an emotional and behavioural screening tool and allows us to capture the children’s perspective. Using this tool we can identify the children’s needs and organise appropriate provision to support them.
Supporting and Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing
We all have a role to play in supporting and promoting the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils and we do this in number of ways.
Sarah Farmer is our Play Therapist.
She uses play therapy skills such as, sand play, creative arts, role play and stories; all of which helps children of all ages, gender and cultures to learn, communicate and develop their personalities and gain an awareness of their feelings and emotions. Play therapy empowers children to cope with challenges in their lives and to increase their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Play therapy aims to enable children to reach their potential by alleviating issues they may have, such as problems with concentration, disturbed sleep, anxiety, anger and lack of self-esteem, to name a few. Helping children with these issues will in turn enable them to access learning fully and to feel better about themselves.
BEEU Mental Health Support Team (MHST).
As a school, we have input from the BeeU ‘Mental Health Support Team’. The Mental Health Support Team (often referred to as MHST), provide 3 functions, they:
The Mental Health Support Team want to make accessing emotional wellbeing and mental health support as easy as possible, and remove any barriers. As such they will be providing open access to school students, through drop-ins and other ways of children accessing their help.
The Mental Health Support Team would always encourage parent/carer and wider family involvement in any help or care offered to a Child or Young Person, and we would always inform you if your child had accessed support from the MHST (although we might not know the detail). If your child presented with any risk, this would be shared with you as a parent/carer in line with safeguarding policies and procedures.
As part of our work with the MHST, we have set up a Peer Mentoring Programme. The purpose of the programme is for older children to support other children in school with play, problem solving, modelling positive relationships and providing an alternative place to play.
For further information please take a look at our SEMH MAT Policy.
Helplines and Websites for supporting you and your child
There are a range of brilliant local and national agencies offering support and advice for parents and children that we regularly signpost to.