What are the steps a school can take to promote mental health among students?
The mental health of children and young people is increasingly seen as a fundamental consideration for schools. This is a step in the right direction for all students but even more so for those living with chronic medical and mental health needs. A place to start is by looking at these resource https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-mental-health-in-schools-and-colleges. Lots of useful research based information on how schools can promote the mental health of students through policy and practice. Additionally, the PSHE association produces guidance and a range of teaching plans and resources for schools. https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/resources/guidance-preparing-teach-about-mental-health-and
Hello, I need some advice with regards to my daughter who is 11 years old and isn't attending school at the moment. This is due to her depression and anxiety. She also has a diagnosis of ASD. Is there anything I can do for her while she is at home? Art therapy came to mind. Any advice would be most helpful.
I am sorry that your daughter has become anxious about attending school. I note that she is secondary school age and I wonder if this is a new feeling due to the transfer to a larger school. I presume you have had meetings at school and explored the issues surrounding this anxiety, and looking at the areas of pressure. For example is it maths, PE, a particular teacher or friendship group? An individual timetable to assist her returning may help if she is able to have some choice of subjects to begin with. Whilst your daughter is not attending it is essential that you keep to a timetable, for example still getting up washing and getting dressed ready for the day at 8.00 – have some books that you can read together, and take exercise each day. If you have a computer it should be possible to link into the school web site and educational activities. What unfortunately often happens is that the sleep pattern slips and this causes other complications making it more difficult to return to school. Time watching TV or social media should be kept to the end of what would usually be the school day. Good luck!
My daughter is 16, and started her A level course this year. Last year she became ill and has not really attended school since. She sat her GCSE's in the medical room crying. She's only attended school about 5 days in total this term.
The hospital are doing tests to find out what the problem is. She is in constant pain, and I'm at a loss what to do. I constantly contact the doctors and the hospital for answers, but all the time she is sick she is not at school. All the while they are looking into her illness, she is missing vital lessons. The school have been great, sending work home, but I’m worried they'll lose patience with her, and even though she works hard, she's losing vital interaction with her teachers. I'd appreciate any advice you can give.
Your situation sounds very stressful for you and your daughter. The situation you describe and the feelings you have at the moment are not uncommon. It sounds as if your daughter’s school is supportive by sending work home. Please do not feel that this is a favour, all schools have a duty to support access to education for students with a medical condition. The school should have a policy on this and certainly your education authority should have a policy statement. If you have not already met with the school to discuss the current situation and your concerns I would suggest that you do this. This meeting could be with the Head of 6th form and the schools special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). At this meeting you could discuss the best way for your daughter to plan her time in relation to the subjects she is studying at A level. It may be helpful to focus on one or two subjects until she is well enough to attend school regularly. Having subject teachers email addresses so that work can be sent for marking and your daughter can ask questions about specific tasks could be helpful. Having access to text books and other teaching resources can be discussed. Also, do you have a school learning platform so that lesson notes and resouces can be accessed by your daughter when at home? Talking to the subject teachers directly can help in making sure that your daughter can undertake tasks appropriate to studying independently. With the rapid development of online teaching resources working independently when your daughter is feeling well enough can be interactive and fun. Stress about falling behind is not going to help. We suggest that the key thing to remember is that if the situation continues and daughter continues to miss a lot of school now, all is not lost. Many students spend more than 2 years getting their A levels and universities will take into consideration personal circumstances when looking at applications. (If university is something she wishes to pursue) If the situation continues and ultimately she needs to take more time to get her A levels, please be assured we have worked with many students at the hospital school who have been in this situation but have ultimately been successful, it’s just taken a bit more time and organisation.