Wellbeing and Mental Health
At St. James', we value every member of our community and, in the world of today, we want to support everyone to feel healthy in mind and body.
Good mental health and wellbeing is essential for school students. It helps them to learn effectively, cope with day-to-day challenges, and develop into resilient young adults.
What is mental health?
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.
Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. It is thought that this is probably because of changes in the way that we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
- being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
- taking part in local activities for young people.
Other factors are also important, including:
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- being hopeful and optimistic
- being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
- accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
- having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
- feeling they have some control over their own life
- having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
At St. James', we want children to :
- Keep physically fit and healthy - exercise can really help mental health - it's why we are so keen on PE and getting children outside for fresh air and play
- Know that we are always here to listen - any adult is ready and willing to listen to your worries, however big or small. You can talk to anyone.
- Develop healthy friendships and relationships - we use our buddy system to promote healthy relationships between younger and older children, we have houses that we all belong to and our PSHCE curriculum involves love, hope and forgiveness for everybody as well as how to learn and grow together.
- Understand that anyone can struggle with mental health
At St. James', we have a focus on social and emotional health and well-being and some of our children are supported by attending the Sunshine Room, the Rainbow Room or The Harbour. Some children take part in ELSA sessions or work with our Trauma Informed teaching assistant. We are here to help.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/64515300 - Mental Health Week 2023