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Meet our Mental Health Lead

Meet our Mental Health Lead

Your mental health is a number one priority, it is as important as your physical health, which is why here at Gordon Children’s Academy we have a Mental Health Lead. Miss Debnam is our Assistant Headteacher and Inclusion Manager. This role encompasses the Mental Health Lead for the school.

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Where can students find you in school?

In the SENCo office.

Are you available to parents too, for advice on how to talk to their children?

Yes, parents are welcome to contact myself or the DSL via the school office for advice or support.

What does mental health mean to you?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, affecting how we think, feel and act. It determines how we handle stress, make choices and relate to other people. Often, even the smallest changes can make someone feel better. Mental health refers to the ability to function and deal with daily life and everything it represents.  It is important that you care about yourself and care for yourself looking after your physical health by eating well, sleeping well and staying healthy and making time to do the things that make you happy.

The phrase ‘mental health’ is often thought to refer to mental health problems. It is the case, however, that everyone has mental health. People have times when their mental health is good and also times when it isn’t. Mental health can vary over time, just like physical health.

Mental ill health is a phrase used to describe a range of conditions which can lead to changes in feelings or behaviour.

How important is it that schools are aware of mental health and why?

After a challenging year for us all, it is now more important than ever that we are kind to each other and are able to have the conversations that it is okay to not be okay. It is important that children have an awareness of mental health and understand the signs so they know where they can go, who they can talk to and also have an understanding of how to help to support others. We work closely as a team to support each other, the children in our care and also work closely with our families.  It is important that we take away the stigma around mental health and have these conversations to create a positive atmosphere and acceptance for all.

How do you help your students with mental health?

The children know they can talk to any adult in the school about any worries of concerns they have.

Check in sessions with the children.

PSHE sessions to support the children’s wider development through whole class discussions.

Assemblies, awareness days and reflection build knowledge and strategies to support mental health.

We have a trained ELSA in school who supports with helping the children work through issues around anxieties, worries and their emotions.

Oasis lunchtime provision where children can come and check in with an adult and complete calming activities such as social activities, art or games.

Interventions around social skills and emotional support, including the use of the zones of regulation.

Providing children with a safe space to calm down and regulate their emotions.

Weekly PE sessions to encourage the children’s physical health

A range of afterschool clubs to promote children’s emotional and physical health.