Mental health is a broad issue and includes a wide range of disorders. Therefore, a large spectrum of symptoms is possible. Note that behavioural changes do not necessarily point to mental health problems – they may be temporary and caused by a negative experience or distressing life event. However, persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviour can indicate an underlying problem.
· Severe behaviour problems
· Persistent or severe anxiety
· Feelings of sadness that dominate and interfere with the pupil’s life
· Persistent and severe inattentiveness or impulsiveness
· Worries about weight that dominate the pupil’s life
· Unusual eating patterns
· Substance misuse
· Self-harm (for example, overdosing, hitting, cutting or burning oneself)
Certain individuals and groups are more at risk of developing mental health problems, these include, but are not limited to:
· Looked after children
· Children with learning difficulties
· Children on the autism spectrum
· Children from disadvantaged backgrounds
There are also risk factors within the family such as abuse, bereavement, and parental psychiatric illness. You should also be mindful of risks within the school environment such as bullying, poor relationships and discrimination.
Our school addresses emotional and mental health by providing support from a trained Counsellor and Pastoral support Leader. We also have a designated mental health lead professional who is also the Pastoral Lead for Year 10, Mr. G. Lyons.
We address emotional mental health and well – being by utilising resources that include:
· Mental health toolkit for schools, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (Adobe pdf file)
· MindED (a free educational resource for children and young people’s mental health)
· A guide to mental health services in England, NHS
Our school works very closely with the CAMHS service who can be contacted on 0151 282 4527