Wellbeing and Mental Health
At St Clement Danes we believe that positive emotional wellbeing and mental health are crucial to enable students to feel happy both in themselves and at school. When students enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing, they are better able to realise their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and make a contribution to their wider community.
To this end, we have an active programme in place through Personal Development that focuses on aspects such as resilience, keeping safe online, developing a ‘protective layer’, bullying and mental wellbeing to name but a few. Mrs White (SENCo) is the school's Designated Mental Health Lead, working closely with Mr Marks (Deputy Headteacher) and Mrs Whiteman (Welfare Officer), who is available to talk to students if they feel worried or concerned about any aspect of their school or home life. Several key members of the Pastoral team have also completed a Mental Health First Aid qualification provided by MHFA England, this focuses on enabling staff to spot signs of poor Mental Health, and offer timely and appropriate advice to our students when they are most in need.
The school has two BACP qualified Counsellors; Caroline Neale works with students in Key Stage 3 and 4, whilst Lottie Strevens works with Key Stage 5. KS5 students are able to self-refer to see Lottie, whilst those in KS3 & 4 need referral from a parent or member of staff. There is sometimes a small wait for appointments, however both Caroline and Lottie prioritise in order of need, and can recommend next steps if they feel further help is needed.
Whilst we encourage all students to feel comfortable in approaching their parent, form tutor, Head of Key Stage or any member of staff, we understand that sometimes this may be something they feel unable to do. In such cases, there are a number of support websites and phone numbers published in each student planner which may prove helpful. In addition to this, we have attached below a Hertfordshire approved ‘Signposting Guide’ which has further advice and support available for a whole range of topics such as:
- Education and Employment
- Family Support
- Sex, Sexuality and Gender
- Mental Health- Counselling, Eating, Self Harm, Suicidal Thoughts
New Anxiety Resources
In recognition of increased anxiety levels in children and young people reported across schools and agencies nationwide, resources have been created to increase awareness, support early identification and provide access to practical help. These resources deal with mild to moderate anxiety in addition to signposting information for more complex cases. They are available via www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk There are downloadable resources such as ‘Top tips for parents’, a leaflet on managing anxiety for young people and guidance, as well as exam stress resources.