Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Brighouse High School is a leading school for mental health and wellbeing provision in Calderdale. At our school, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our staff and student body. We pursue this aim using both universal, whole school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable students.
“Mental health is a state of well-being 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.” (World Health Organisation)
20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.
50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
How do we support wellbeing?
We aim to:
- Promote positive mental health in all staff and students
- Increase understanding and awareness of common mental health issues
- Alert staff to early warning signs of mental ill health
- Provide support to staff working with young people with mental health issues
- Provide support to students suffering mental ill health, to their peers and to their parents/carers
We work very closely with the ‘Calderdale Mental Health Support Team in Education’ (MHST) and we are fortunate to host a Mental Health Practitioner in school. The Deputy Headteacher is involved in the strategic steering group and works closely with a range of partners. Students have access to our in-house Mental Health Support Team and we have a dedicated room for students to discuss any worries and concerns privately with the team. They can provide one to one and/or group support for a range of different Emotional Wellbeing needs, including support for examination worries.
We also work very closely with Open Minds and can make further referrals to support our young people as necessary. For more information on the work Open Minds do with young people and parents/carers and to further support at home please click here. Openminds in Calderdale (openmindscalderdale.org.uk)
The Department of Education provides mental health resources which are available on ‘The Education Hub’. This is a dedicated site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. Here, you will find accessible, straightforward information on popular topics, Q&As, interviews, case studies, and more.
In addition to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, we aim to recognise and respond to mental ill health. In an average classroom, three children will be suffering from a diagnosable mental health issue. By developing and implementing practical, relevant and effective mental health policies and procedures we can promote a safe and stable environment for students affected both directly and indirectly by mental ill health.
Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.
You can speak to any member of staff in school with confidence or, if you prefer, you can report concerns via one of the following
RESPECT Box- these are the red post boxes outside all pastoral and wellbeing offices.
- Please click here
Meet the Team
Whilst all staff have a responsibility to promote emotional health and wellbeing, the following staff have a specific remit for wellbeing.
We explicitly teach all students the skills, knowledge, language and understanding needed to keep themselves physically and mentally safe. These are delivered through our Learning4Life lessons, Super Learning Days, in form time and assemblies.
We were an early adopter of the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health curriculum. We follow the PSHE Association guidance and train our staff to ensure we teach these issues in a sensitive manner which helps rather than harms.
The safe spaces we create for these conversations allow students to explore tricky themes, to develop empathy and understanding, and give them the confidence to seek help if needed, for themselves or others.
Our students access support when they’re going through a tough time and we continue to develop ways for our students to seek that support. Young people can speak to anyone working in school about anything that’s bothering them, whether it’s school related or something different.
In the spring term our Pride Society lunchtime club was established by Mr Lyne and the club is open to anyone to attend who is looking to:
Create artwork; learn about influential people from the LGBTQ+ community past and present; increase visibility within school; chat with other supportive people; discuss topical news stories; plan fundraising events and learn how to access further support.
Student Peer Support
When a student is suffering from mental health issues, it can be a difficult time for their friends. Friends often want to support but do not know how. Sometimes it is possible that friends may learn unhealthy coping mechanisms from each other. Where helpful, on a case by case basis, we provide careful additional support to friends to help them both support their friend, and to protect and support them.
Student leaders make a significant contribution to wellbeing at Brighouse High School. Our student council groups choose their own areas of focus, and frequently choose wellbeing related topics for campaigns. They do various activities to support student wellbeing including research, assemblies, poster campaigns, fundraising and parents newsletter articles. They also represent student views on how the school can improve wellbeing. Working with MHST and Open Minds, we train and support our KS4 students to act as support members for KS3 students.
During the spring half term our year 11 girl leaders are delivering workshops to year 7 girls in the Learning4Life sessions. The topic area is on Peer on Peer Abuse with a focus on what language/behaviour is acceptable in a school environment and to have the confidence to report concerns to one of our EWB staff team.
Our School Council is proud to run a mental health and wellbeing project group, who are developing an electronic support link and reintroducing the ‘respect’ box outside our pastoral offices. These two reporting systems are for those students who may be concerned about their own wellbeing and/or to raise concern for a friend.
Feeling distressed or unhappy from time to time is normal, however if these feelings are persistent or are causing a lot of worry for a person you are concerned about then you may need to seek professional help.
Parental opportunities are offered by MHST, Open Minds and Kooth to give advice on how to support young people with their mental health at home. The following workshops will be available during the summer term and will be promoted to parents/carers prior to topic date list below;
Supporting your child with
1) Understanding mental health (date TBC)
2) Anxiety (date TBC)
3) Exam stress (date TBC)
4) Introduction to Kooth (date TBC) - A Zoom session demonstrating the features of the Kooth website, some of the safeguarding and clinical information to reassure parents/carers that it is a completely safe platform to use.
For further details on support groups and professionals, see the section below ‘ Emotional Health and Wellbeing service’ locally and nationally
Parents who are experiencing Child to Parent Abuse can seek advice and support through professionals who are working with families where CPA has been identified or is suspected. They have a network of fellow parents, as well as the PEGS team themselves, who are there to support you, believe you, listen to you, and stand beside you.
Research and Developments
Staff Support and Training
Any member of staff who is concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a student should speak to the mental health lead in the first instance. If there is a fear that the student is in danger of immediate harm then the normal safeguarding procedures should be followed with an immediate referral to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), the head teacher or the designated governor.
If there are concerns regarding a staff member an immediate referral to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher must be made.
Through our CPD programme and training provided by Open Minds and MHST our staff are developing their confidence in recognising mental health concerns in our students and staff. This training aims to give staff confidence to support each other and our students through difficult times by identifying warning signs and managing disclosures.
In the winter term BHS staff will have the opportunity to be part of our wellbeing action group. This group will focus on staff EWB and activities within the workplace they can take part in and to give all staff a voice in the decision making to further support staff wellbeing.
The following websites have resources and advice to help staff with supporting those mental health and wellbeing concerns.