Mental Health and Well-being at Carlisle Infant School
At Carlisle Infant School, the mental health and well-being of our whole school community is one of our highest priorities. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We recognise that for children to be able to learn and achieve their potential, they need to feel happy and safe. We all get stressed and worried sometimes. Children do too, especially when changes happen which we have no control over, for example the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have a Worrybot character in school who children are familiar with, and each class has voted for their own worry monster who they can share their worries with. Every opportunity is taken by staff to ensure children know who to talk to if they have worries or need support. We recognise sharing worries can be difficult and have created a pictorial worry form which even our youngest children can access.
The headteacher is the Mental Health lead for the school.
Please see the links below developed for parents by the Emotional Health Service.
Session 1 - Introduction to child anxiety
Session 2 - How child anxiety may develop and factors that keep it going.
Session 3 - Strategies to manage anxiety and build confidence in your anxious child.
We promote children’s well-being by:
- Having regular circle times where children learn how to recognise different feelings and emotions in themselves and others and have opportunities to talk about them. To facilitate this, we run a personal, social, health and emotional programme (PSHE) called Jigsaw, for each year group, and use the Zones of Regulation as a visual reminder of how to regulate our emotions
- Having a Pastoral Mentor who children can talk to and who runs Emotional Literacy Support groups (ELSA) for children who need them
- Having 3 Mental health first aiders who have been trained by Mental Health England
- Promoting healthy eating, exercise and relaxation for mind and body well-being
- Participating in the Trailblazer programme run by the Mental Health Support team. This offers support to parents and children. We are fortunate to have an Education Welfare Practitioner (EWP) working with our school.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health or wellbeing do speak to their teacher so we can see what support we are able to offer in school.
Advice and support for parents’ well-being:
If you or your child are struggling with your emotions or mental health, there are things you can do:
- Talk to us about your child as soon as possible. We may be able to reassure you and make some simple changes to help with worries and anxiety. Don’t forget you can email or call school to ask for help and guidance whenever you need it.
- Talk to your GP if you or your child are being affected by too much stress and suffering from anxiety. They can give advice and refer you, or your child, to other services.
- Access some of the services or apps below, for advice and support:
Kooth - www.kooth.com/
Kooth is a free, anonymous, online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop.
CAMHS Richmond offers a range of advice and NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural and mental health problems – please speak to our SENCO.
SAMARITANS - www.samaritans.org
Samaritans are there to listen to you, without judgement, any time of the day or night – call 116 123
Young Minds - Parents helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9:30am - 4:00pm) free from mobiles and landlines www.youngminds.org.uk
Young Minds is the UK's leading charity committed in improving emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers
Other websites to support mental health and well-being
Action for happiness - www.actionforhappiness.org
Action for happiness is a not for profit creating a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society, by helping people to take practical action drawing on the latest scientific research
Anna Freud Centre - 0207 794 2313 www.annafreud.org
A child's mental health charity providing specialised help and training and carrying out research
Childline - 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
Childline is a counselling service for parents, children and young people
Mind - 0300 123 3393 www.mind.org.uk
Mind is a national mental health charity which offers an excellent range of materials on all aspects of mental health
Anxiety UK - 0844 775774 www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Anxiety UK helps all those suffering with anxiety disorders
Winston's Wish - 08088 020021 www.winstonswish.org
Winston’s Wish was the UK’s first bereavement charity – supporting bereaved children since 1992 – and continue to lead the way in providing specialist child bereavement support services across the UK, including in-depth therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings.
Change4Life - https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/
Healthy Eating for under 5s - https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/
Physical activity guidelines for children and young people - https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-children-and-young-people/
Books to Support Mental Health
- The Bear who Stared by Duncan Beedie
- Silly Billy by Anthony Browne
- You're a Rude Pig, Bertie! by Claudia Boldt
- Hello Happy! and No Worries! in association with Child and Family Psychotherapist Sharie Coombes
- Bob's Blue Period by Marion Deuchars
- Beyond the Fence by Maria Gulemetova
- The Huge Bag of Worries by Viriginia Ironside and Frank Rodgers
- How Are You Feeling Today? by Molly Potter
- Happy, Sad, Felling Glad by Yasmeen Ismail
- My Daddy's Going Away by Christopher MacGregor and Emma Yarlett
- Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
- Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner
- Sad Book by Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake
- Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
- On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies
- My Many Coloured Days by Dr Seuss
Education Well-being Practitioner
At Carlisle, we have an Education Well-being Practitioner working with us named Jasmeen Kakkar. She is part of the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) that works across primary and secondary schools in Richmond and Kingston. Please click on the following document for more information
Support for Staff well-being:
- Well-being check ins
- 3 Staff Mental health first aiders
- Regular discussion on how to reduce workload, manage stress and nurture resilience
- Termly wellbeing surveys which are analysed and any actions shared
- A Wellbeing Committee who look for ways to prioritise wellbeing and support staff wellbeing
- Opportunities for Continuing Professional Development
- Employee Assistance programme