NAPCE’s July Newsletter- Mental Health
NAPCE looks to promote wellbeing within education. We believe that the environment of your institution should actively host this. We wanted to support you in bettering it, so we went to the Capita Mental Health Conference to try and layout what issues and actions are out there at the moment. Mental health is not just illness (depression, self harm, eating disorders and anxiety disorders for example) it is also mental wealth- resilience, relationships, academic achievement, morals, self worth, hope and handling change.
NAPCE heard from dedicated experts applying and researching mental health in education and have shortened key points from the day and pointed you in the direction of support (we know you don’t have time to read waffle!):
Natasha Devon MBE from the Self Esteem Team:
- Critical thinking focus. When engaging in media we are usually relaxed and therefore more highly vulnerable. Students and staff are not always aware of the pressures of pornography, sexting, social media and comparison. Think about ways we can use social media positively.
- Discuss self harm without triggering. How can you express and then replace what self harm says and gives- exercise/passions. What empty’s your stress bucket? What do you love to do?
- Talk. We have more than one emotion. Redefine strength and beauty.https://youtu.be/c79fvvItKQUConsider self referral and peer mentoring (it will happen whether you support this or not).
- Name the Mental Health Leadin your school and how CAHMS referrals can be made and to who (ensure they oversee the healing process too).
- Have you investigated the mental health of your institution lately?Create an action plan informed by staff and student voice, survey, SDQ’s, CORE-YP’s and focus groups identify areas of focus, increasing effectiveness. This also provides an action research approach that evidences the success of what you put in place.
Barriers to Mental Health Support
Increase in demand. Economic and technological demand leading to decrease in parent/family interaction and belonging, as well as government demand for academic only success.
Decrease in budget. Make it go further-prevention is the cheapest option! Or get more money… The government funding is not ring fenced so reduced accessed to mental health support agencies. Look up your local transformation plan! There is money attached to them! Or participate in research!
Stigma. Put it out there and discuss it.
The reality of how schools are currently dealing with was delivered from the voices of young people who came to present regarding their own mental health ‘no school experience comes without any challenge…least not the self-expectation’. A key point: ‘Be aware that shared issues can be influenced by another’s’. These points clarified that mental health and wellbeing must consider the whole community (including yourself!).
The conference raised a number of questions that need some serious consideration:
Why are students unclear on their route to happiness and a healthier mind?
Does your curriculum facilitate opportunities for this curiosity and growth?
Can and should we do this within the linear outcomes that are demanded of us?