At St Mary's we want all of our children to be happy & healthy and this includes mentally!
What is Well-being?
Well-being, as referenced in the widely accepted World Health Organisation definition of mental health, is defined as a state of mind in which:
“every individual realises 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 her or his community.”
As a school we are very aware of the increase in mental health issues in children across the UK & want to be at the forefront of ensuring that if our children do have difficulties, then they are well supported in order to be able to not only cope, but also be fully well in mind, body & spirit.
We provide an excellent & supportive environment which promotes good emotional well-being as well as staff that are fully committed & well trained in identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. We work hard to build social & emotional skills among our children in order that they can develop resilience as well as set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.
If you have concerns about your child’s
mental health, then please let us know
Miss Miller is a Mental Health First Aider, which means she has been trained
to signpost where you can find appropriate support so you can pop in and
speak to her anytime or call 01142344461 to talk to her.
We have posters placed around school so children know who they can
talk to if they need support with their mental health and well being.
For details of adult mental health support available in Sheffield, please click on the link below.
Please click this link for parent information about Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
If you want to know how you can support your child’s mental health yourself, then please download: Leaflet for Parents – talking to their child about their mental health plus
Anxiety is probably one of the most common manifestations of poor mental health among children in the UK. Anxiety is often identified as an intense uneasiness, worry or fear.
It is important to remember that it is completely normal for children to feel anxious about something because it is different, new or not a part of their usual experience. Sometimes, children can have the feeling of anxiety & don’t even know exactly why that is. This can then result in children blaming something as the reason, when it isn’t that at all.
In fact, a little bit of anxiety can actually be helpful. For example, feeling anxious before a race or test can make us feel more alert & improve our performance.
Persistent feelings of anxiety however, can be distracting and exhausting for a child & could be signs of something a little more serious.
Please let us know if your child has feelings of anxiety as we may be able to help & stop things from becoming more serious or upsetting for your child.
You may also want to access the Worry – Pupil Information Leaflet that could be a starting point to discussing how your child is feeling.
Issues with sleep can also be a source of mental ill health for children & can be a surprisingly common factor when it comes to difficulties with overall well being.
Sleep is particularly important for children, because during sleep:
Growth hormones are released
The immune system strengthens, helping a child’s body to fight off illness
The brain makes sense of the day’s events
Memory and concentration functions are increased
Our bodies rest
Emotional well being is restored.
If you feel that sleep may be an issue for your child, then please click to download the Parent – Sleep Information guide as well as visit the following websites.
Transitions to the Next Class
& to Secondary School
As a school, we understand that the move to any new class as well as secondary school can cause a lot of anxiety for children. As a result, we hold our St Mary's Passport Day where all children ‘travel’ up to their new classes in order to spend the day with their new teacher & do lots of lovely ‘getting to know you’ activities. We find that this takes the worry out of change & actually serves to get children excited about their new learning environment & adults that they will be working with.
For our very youngest children, we also offer Parent & Child Workshops in the July before they start, in order that parents & carers, as well as their children, can come in & experience what it is like school so that it can be talked about over the summer weeks leading up to starting. This, & the New to FS2 Parents’ Evening, held in June after being offerred a place, also help to settle the anxieties of parents too!
For our oldest children coming to the end of primary school, we understand a this change can be the most challenging of all & again try to take the anxiety out of this as much as possible. As a result, we do lots of preparatory work on what that change will mean as well as have visits to, as well as visitors from, the main feeder schools. We also do a full hand over of information (academic, social, Special Educational Needs information, etc.) in order that secondary school staff know everything necessary to ensure that the move can be a real success for those that we are sending their way. As part of this information, we also talk about friendship groups & who your child gets on best with. Some of our most vulnerable children, may even be offered further opportunities to visit with special days & bonding opportunities.
As parents & carers, you can of course help your child with their anxieties by visiting the open evenings that the secondary puts on. This will not only help in your final choice of school, but will also serve to get your child excited about all of the amazing things that the secondary school can offer.
To help your child with the transition to secondary school, you may also find the following information & resources helpful:
If you Need Further Help with you Child’s Mental Health & Wellbeing, then you could:
Call your GP
They will be able to provide help and advice. Your GP can also provide access to appropriate specialist services and local organisations.
NHS mental health services
Find local mental health services on the NHS website. http://www.nhs.uk
Childline: Free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people up to the age of 19. Call: 0800 1111 or visit: https://www.childline.org.uk
The Samaritans: The Samaritans provide a confidential service for people in despair and who feel suicidal. Call: 116 123 or visit: www.samaritans.org.uk
NSPCC: They provide helplines and information on child abuse, child protection and safeguarding children. Call: 0808 800 5000 or visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
Young Minds: They provide a Parent Helpline that offers free confidential telephone and email support to any adult worried about the wellbeing of a child or young person. Call: 0808 802 5544 or visit: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents
Youth Wellbeing Directory: They help you find support for mental health and wellbeing of young people up to age 25 across the UK. Visit: https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/youth-wellbeing/
HaveIGotAProblem.com: This offers a free resource about mental health and addiction issues. It has advice and documents on issues including depression, anxiety, self-harm, bipolar, eating disorders and coping. Visit: http://www.haveigotaproblem.com/
Helplines partnership: This provides a comprehensive list of mental health helplines in the UK. Visit: https://helplines.org/helplines/
Mental Health Foundation: This offers a wide range of information about mental health issues. Visit: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Health Talk Online: This aims to provide balanced information about the experience of everyday life with a range of health conditions and issues, what to expect both physically and mentally, overcoming practical difficulties, making decisions about treatment and talking to health professionals. Visit: http://www.healthtalk.org/
YouthinMind: This is an online resource for information about mental health and offers brief assessments. It also provides links to other useful books, websites and services. Visit: http://youthinmind.info/py/yiminfo/
Mind – Infoline: Offers advice and support to service users; has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help. Call: 0300 123 3393, text number: 86463 or visit: http://www.mind.org.uk
SANE: This provides practical help, emotional support and specialist information for people aged 16 and over with mental health problems as well as their family, friends and carers. Call: 0300 304 7000 or visit: www.sane.org.uk
Supportline: This is a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. Call: 01708 765200 or visit: www.supportline.org.uk
Beat: This provides helplines, self-help groups and online support to anyone affected by eating disorders. Call: 0808 801 0677 or visit: www.b-eat.co.uk