Mental Health Support
Bishop Perowne is committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional well being. It is important that our students understand how to look after both their physical and mental health and develop a toolkit of coping strategies for when difficulties arise and they are struggling.
Our Mental Health Strategy has been developed to support students, parents and staff in understanding mental health issues and removing the stigma around talking about mental health so that students don’t feel isolated, ashamed or misunderstood and know where to go for help.
Over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and 1 in 10 children and young people has a mental health disorder. Schools are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people’s mental wellbeing. Our staﬀ are ideally placed to recognise and respond to early signs of mental health diﬃculties in children and young people.
We introduced our “Well Aware” programme, which has it’s own page here and is also quickly accessible under the Links for Students.
We have also signposted Kooth, a free online mental wellbeing service for students who may feel uncomfortable approaching staff at the school for any reason.
Common Indicators of Mental Health Concerns
While many children and young people worry about school or home circumstances from time to time, around 1 in 10 experience anxiety severe enough to make it hard for them to get on with the things they want to do in life. This may signal an anxiety disorder. Children and young people may feel anxious in particular situations, such as speaking in class or socialising with peers, and may want to avoid these scenarios. They may ﬁnd themselves worrying a lot and not being able to stop. They may also experience physical and visible symptoms, such as panic attacks.
An attachment bond refers to a relationship between a child or young person and their primary caregiver that is formed in the early years and is thought to have a long-term impact on development and growth.
A secure attachment helps children and young people feel safe at times of need. When caregivers are not able to provide sensitive, consistent and loving care, a child or young person may develop an insecure attachment to them. This early insecurity can aﬀect their ability to learn and to form relationships with other adults and with peers
Looked after children
A looked-after child is a child or young person in the care of the local authority. Most looked-after children live with foster carers, with a smaller number living in secure units, children’s homes or hostels. Some children and young people are looked after because parents are struggling to cope, and others have been removed from the family home due to signiﬁcant risk of harm. While looked-after children are more likely to experience mental health diﬃculties than their peers, it is important to remember that not all looked-after children will have a mental health problem
Low mood can mean an absence of feeling, irritability, lack of pleasure, and/or lack of motivation. Most people have experienced this at times. However, low mood means that people feel this way persistently. Doctors deﬁne low mood as feeling this way for over two weeks.
It is not always easy to spot low mood. Signs include changes in behaviour and relationships with friends and school staﬀ, becoming more withdrawn and ﬂuctuating attendance. Low mood may be related to challenging home circumstances, bullying or diﬃcult peer relationships.
Self-harm usually means cutting or injuring oneself deliberately. It gives a visible sign that something is ‘not OK’. A child or young person may self-harm to feel more in control, to help them cope with negative feelings, or to punish themselves.