Wellbeing Award for Schools
In June 2019 we successfully achieved the Wellbeing Award for Schools
We recognise that for many adults and children, mental health can be seen as a difficult and at times frightening issue. As a society, we are starting to deal with this stigma, but, unfortunately, there still exist plenty of negative views and attitudes that cause barriers to go up. As professionals and as parents, we can feel unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with these issues, seeing mental health as the domain of the ‘specialist’. As a school community already stretched with many demands, re-visioning how we view emotional wellbeing and changing a school culture to accommodate this vision can be challenging.
One theme that is central to the award is the need for schools to draw the wider community and relevant stakeholders into the centre of the change process. Parents and carers are one such group. Evidence shows that, for parents, the emotional and mental health needs of their children is of increasing concern, and often parents look to the school to support and inform them. Pupils also need to be given the opportunity to express their own voice and this can be an influential source of good ideas for any school looking for innovative and appropriate solutions.
The principles of the award
- Emotional wellbeing and mental health are a continuum. Related issues can range from positive attitudes and behaviour, through to experiences of emotional distress and mental disorder.
- Schools already experience and manage emotional issues on a daily basis; the objective is to minimise the impact of such issues and maximise the effectiveness of any responses.
- Emotional wellbeing covers a range of dimensions, such as resilience, character building, relationships and self-esteem, etc. Understanding both developmental and mental health awareness is critical.
- Creating a positive school culture requires a whole-school approach that is led from the top while involving all in the school community.