Emotional Well-being & Mental Health
The mental health and emotional well-being of our children, parents and staff is extremely important. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
At Tidemill, we believe in equipping our pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to build the foundations of obtaining positive mental health to ensure they benefit fully from all the opportunities available to them. As part of our Personal, Social, Emotional & Economic (PSHE) curriculum, children learn about key themes to support their understanding about wellbeing and mental health through topics such as: ‘My Mental Health and Me’, ‘My feelings and Me’, ‘Pressures I may Face’, ‘How am I feeling?’, ‘Healthy Me’, ‘Managing Myself and My Behaviour’, and ‘Looking after Me’.
We have a range of embedded practices, resources and services available to pupils to promote positive mental health including: daily mindfulness activities, a buddy system for older pupils to support younger ones, pupil advocates used as playground leaders to support lonely or vulnerable pupils, referrals for specialist children’s services, transition support, lunchtime and after school clubs, a named school lead for mindfulness and mental health promotion, and a dedicated space for children to self-refer to our lunchtime ‘Time to Talk’ club, amongst other provision.
At Tidemill, we help children to understand their emotions and ensure they feel comfortable sharing their concerns or worries. We support their social needs, promote self-esteem and develop their confidence and emotional resilience. Using the ‘Zones of Regulation’ framework, we are able to teach students how to self-regulate and manage their complex feelings and experiences, by providing them with strategies to communicate their emotions in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
As part of our support for mental health and well-being, Tidemill has a trained Art Psychotherapist working with us one day per week. With parental permission, children who are referred to the service, will be given the opportunity to work through and explore their feelings and emotions, as well as gain an insight into any underlying issues of concern which may be impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing. It is an opportunity for self-expression and emotional growth through the use of a variety of techniques including art, talk, play and drama.
Each Tuesday, one-to-one sessions will take place four times a day, offering regular timetabled support for a 12-week block of therapy, for those children who will benefit the most. There will be opportunities for parents of referred children to meet with the therapist throughout the school year and even join some sessions, should this be of interest.
Therapy sessions can be especially helpful when children feel particularly sad, confused, fearful or angry, including dealing with difficult life circumstances such as parental separation or illness, or even death. Children are encouraged to express and think about their worries, through talking, creative work and play. The therapist will support this process, helping children to find new ways of coping with difficulties so they do not get in the way of friendships or learning.
Information shared with the therapist is confidential, unless there is risk of significant harm. If information needs to be passed on, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will need to be informed.
If you would like to know more about the service and referral process, please contact the school office and ask to speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.