At Meadlands we have a two- fold approach to mental health:
2.We aim to recognise and respond to mental ill health.
The Pastoral Team at Meadlands include:
Mental Health Senior Leaders: Mrs Sophie McGeoch (Headteacher), Miss Jessica Bunker (SENDCo) & Miss Sarah Taunton (Deputy DSL)
Dedicated Pastoral Lead: Ms Claire Davies
Dedicated Governor Link: Mrs Chloe Walkom
School Nurse: Mrs Maureen Branagan-Freeman
At Meadlands, we feel strongly that no stigma should be attached to the term 'mental health', and we recognise the importance of supporting and educating children to look after their mental health and wellbeing, just as we would their physical health. Although there is no single accepted definition, the following one proposed by the World Health Organisation is frequently used:
We understand that a person’s mental health may encompass a range of strengths as well as difficulties, and these can range from mild to severe. According to the NHS 2017 survey, there has been an increase in overall rates of mental disorder. The area with the highest increase is emotional disorders, about one in 10 5-10 year olds had at least one disorder. In an average primary school of the same size as of Meadlands it is expected that:
With this in mind, we take our responsibility to nurture and educate your children very seriously, and it is important to us that all pupils at Meadlands feel secure and happy, and that they have the ability to recognise, name and appropriately manage the many different emotions they will experience as they grow up. We are, after all, preparing future citizens of the world!
These are shocking statistics but we hope that it also makes you realise that, as a parent, you are not alone. There is support out there if you feel that your child may be struggling with your mental health.
Talking to your child about their mental health
Our wellbeing hub on Google Classroom which every child can access has age appropriate videos talking about mental health which you could watch with your child. They may find it easier to talk to you using a video as a prompt.
You know your child best and are best placed to notice possible changes in mood and behaviour. Sometimes however, it can be quite a shock if your child begins to open up to you about struggling with their mental health. These are some tips that might help:
Don’t pretend to understand: The concept of a mental health difficulty can seem completely alien if you’ve never experienced these difficulties first hand. You may find yourself wondering why on earth someone would feel like this, but don’t explore those feelings with the sufferer. Instead listen hard to what they’re saying and encourage them to talk and you’ll slowly start to understand what steps they might be ready to take in order to start making some changes.
Don’t assume that an apparently negative response is actually a negative response: Don’t be offended or upset if your offers of help are met with anger, indifference or insolence, it’s whatever is worrying them that is talking, not your child.
Agencies that are a good starting point for advice:
Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/ Their website is full of information and it also has a Parents Helpline which parents have found useful in the past.
If you are concerned about your child, we can both support them in school and support you in understanding which services are available, guiding you through the process of getting support. We work very closely with social care, the NHS, Educational Psychologists and CAMHs (Children Adolescent Mental Health Services), as well as local charities such as RUILS, Man & Boy and Welcare.
If you are worried about your child or about the impact a family member’s mental health may have on them, and you would like to speak to a member of staff about your concerns, please do make an appointment to see Mrs McGeoch, Miss Davies or Miss Bunker.
We invest heavily in pre-emptive work, which includes:
We also prioritise interventions for groups or individuals who might need further support, such as:
We are delighted to be part of a Mental Health research project, a piece of joint work with a sample of schools in AfC and NHS CAMHs clinicians. The project started with a Mental Health Audit - please see below.
We are an attachment aware school and are currently part of . Throughout the year 2020-21 the school will be part of an exciting CPD project training all staff in attachment aware and trauma informed approaches.
In addition to this we are committed to ensuring our staff team are well qualified and trained in supporting our children
For parents and carers looking for more information to help understand their child's, or their own, mental health, we recommend the following websites:
The Anna Freud Centre is a world leading mental health charity for children, young people and their families. They have produced a self care summer resource pack which we thought may be of interest to you. It is full of different activities and information which can be accessed for free. The information will also be available on our website. The link is as follows:
Wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic
Please click on the external links below which will take you to relevant videos, we hope you find these helpful.
Helping your child get a good night's sleep