Policy for Promoting Positive Mental Health
We aim to create an environment where pupils and staff feel happy, safe and secure. Every member of the school community is valued, respected and treated fairly and consistently and we foster positive and caring attitudes. We promote good relationships so that all can work together with the common purpose of helping everyone achieve their potential.
Mental health is how we feel, how we think and how we behave. Mental Health Promotion for children and is everybody’s business. Here at St Marie’s, we recognise that all children and adults need the foundation of positive mental health to benefit fully from all of the opportunities available to them.
It is about:
- being able to form and maintain relationships with others
- being adaptable to change and other people’s expectations
- being able to have fun
- being open to learning
- being able to develop a sense of right and wrong
- being able to develop the resilience to manage ordinary setbacks
All children and adults need to:
- be able to Connect with others by participating in groups and teams
- know they are Capable and able to achieve
- know they Count in their world and can contribute to their community
- know they have Courage and can manage risks appropriately
Everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable. At times, anyone may need additional support to maintain or develop good mental health.
The mental health of children and adults in school, parents and carers and the wider whole school community will impact on all areas of development, learning, achievement and experiences. All children have the right to be educated in an environment that supports and promotes positive mental health for everybody. All adults have the right to work in an environment that supports and promotes positive mental health for everybody.
St Marie’s offers a learning environment that promotes and enhances positive mental health. A consistent approach means that the school environment and school ethos all promote the mental health of the whole school community.
Healthy relationships underpin positive mental health and have a significant impact.
A mentally healthy environment has:
- a clear and agreed ethos and culture that accords value and respect to all
- a commitment to being responsive to children and young people’s needs
- clearly defined mental health links in school policies
- clear guidelines for internal and external referrals
- strong links with external agencies to provide access to support and information
- a named lead for mental health promotion with the expectation that there is support and involvement and an ethos that ‘mental health is everyone’s business’
A mentally healthy environment is a place where children and young people:
- have opportunities to participate in activities that encourage belonging
- have opportunities to participate in decision-making
- have opportunities to celebrate academic and non-academic achievements
- have their unique talents and abilities identified and developed
- have opportunities to develop a sense of worth through taking responsibility for themselves and others
- have opportunities to reflect
- have access to appropriate support that meets their needs
- have a right to be in an environment that is safe, clean, attractive and well cared for
- are surrounded by adults who model positive and
- appropriate behaviours, interactions and ways of relating at all times
A mentally healthy environment is a place where staff:
- have their individual needs recognised and responded to in a holistic way
- have a range of strategies that support their mental health, e.g. a named person to speak to, signposting
- have recognition of their work-life balance
- have the mental health and well-being of the whole staff reviewed regularly
- feel valued and have opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes
- celebrate and recognise success
- are able to carry out roles and responsibilities effectively
- are provided with opportunities for CPD both personally and professionally
- have their unique talents and skills recognised and opportunities are provided for development
- have time to reflect
- can access proactive strategies and systems to support them at times of emotional needs in both the short term and the long term
A mentally healthy environment is a place where parents/carers:
- are recognised for their significant contribution to children and young people’s mental health
- are welcomed, included and work in partnership with schools and agencies
- are provided with opportunities where they can ask for help when needed
- are signposted to appropriate agencies for support
- are clear about their roles and expectations of their responsibilities in working in partnership with schools
- opinions are sought and valued and responded to
- strengths and difficulties are recognised, acknowledged and challenged appropriately
A mentally healthy environment is a place where the whole school community:
- is involved in promoting positive mental health
- is valued for the role it plays in promoting positive mental health
- contributes towards the ethos of the school
We provide opportunities that promote positive mental health, through the standard curriculum and extended provision, e.g. Circle Time, R Time, SEAL, play, nurture groups, differentiated learning activities and visual timetables
The implementation of the policy for promoting positive mental health in schools:
- will give schools a cohesive and co-ordinated approach to mental health
- should underpin all policies and practices currently used in schools
- will raise awareness as to how the whole school community can look after their own mental health and that of others
- will help to de-stigmatise mental health
- will support people and provide opportunities that enable everyone to reach their potential
- will strengthen relationships and provide opportunities for different ways of working
- will provide foundations for life-long learning
- will promote and strengthen resilience throughout the whole school community and empower everyone to face life’s challenges
This policy promotes positive mental health. It is a working document and should be adapted to suit the needs of your own school in consultation with the whole school community.
This policy must be reviewed every two years.
This policy offers opportunities to measure the impact in a variety of ways, e.g. school’s ethos, staff well-being, feedback from the whole school community, number of external referrals, improved relationships, children and young people “feeling well in the head” (Y6 Wigan child).
The promotion of positive mental health for children and young people is everybody’s business.