St Marylebone School, a secondary school for girls in City of Westminster, incorporates issues around good mental health within the culture and everyday life of the school.
The school draws pupils from a number of neighbouring authorities. The school makes use of the curriculum throughout the whole school to promote mental health and well-being. Students explore the idea of ‘being healthy’ and are taught that mental health is as important as physical health.
The personal social and health education (PSHE) curriculum includes the promotion of self-esteem, independence and personal responsibility and looks at topics such as work-life balance, stress management and healthy relationships. The PSHE curriculum is also delivered through off timetable ‘wellbeing days’ and a cross curricular week with specific sessions to raise awareness of mental health.
Teachers are supported to deliver practical sessions about mental health issues, the importance of sleep and practical relaxation techniques such as Yoga and Boxercise. The school also has a ‘thought for the day’ in which students are read anecdotes, news items and parables to encourage contemplation on issues of morality and their own personal growth.
Learning Mentors within the school have been trained in Mental Health First Aid through MIND. The Learning Mentors are provided with termly supervision sessions to support them.
In addition, MIND have trained 20 young people from the 6th Form.
This has given the school a strong resource n staff and pupils who are able to recognise young people with emerging mental health issues and provide support.
The school have also developed a Peer Mentoring Scheme within Year 10 pupils.
A senior member of staff joint facilitates a mental health support group for pupils with Young Minds.
The school have been working with one of the new Children Wellbeing Practitioner teams in Westminster and this has further enabled their good relationship with the local CAMHS service.
By incorporating issues of good mental health within the culture of the school they believe that they are able to identify emerging difficulties and offer more effective support at an earlier stage.