Summerfield Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
Why do we need a Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy?
Summerfield Education Centre is an inclusive setting where mental health and wellbeing promotes school success and improvements by:
- Promoting positive mental and emotional wellbeing by providing information and support.
- Creating a shared understanding of all aspects of mental health.
- Enabling those with mental health related issues to self-disclose and seek support in a safe confidential manner.
- Offering guidance and strategies, along with the support of Mental Health First Aiders, to support pupils and staff to be mentally healthy.
- Creating a culture to support and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing.
What is the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy?
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy is a guide to define ‘how’ we are expected to support children and staff with mental health and wellbeing and ‘what’ practice we implement to support mental health and wellbeing.
The strategy details the systems in place to ensure that mental health and wellbeing is embedded into our culture to support the children and staff at Summerfield Education Centre.
Mental health affects all aspects of life and behaviour. Like physical health, mental health is something we all have. It can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time, see below spectrum.
What do we mean by mental health?
Mental Health is “the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and survive pain, suffering and disappointment. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our and others dignity and worth. It is influenced by our experience and our genetic inheritance.” (World Health Organisation)
How does Summerfield promote positive mental health?
- Promote knowledge and understanding of both internal and external support services.
- Encourage and support the whole school community to be positive in its approach to mental health wellbeing.
- Provide guidance and support to all those connected with the organisation to help them develop confidence in their ability to manage mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Provide appropriate training and information to staff on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Have named Mental Health First Aider who is the contact point at Summerfield and a Senior Academic Restorative Mentor (ARM) who is responsible for co-ordination and delivery of the school’s mental health and emotional wellbeing strategy.
- Seek to embed mental health and emotional support across the curriculum.
Addressing Needs (mechanisms to support children and staff and families)
Summerfield promotes a culture which supports and encourages self-disclosure.
- We use the ‘Mental Health Spectrum’ to identify children that fall into the ‘struggling’ and ‘unwell’ mental health categories and seek support from the school’s Wellbeing Lead, Sacha Burt.
- Any concerns be investigated and will trigger the use of our mental health support cycle (see flowchart below) to produce an action plan to assist our pupils.
- Emotion Coaching Programme helps parents, school staff and children who may experience moments in their lives when controlling emotions becomes challenging. See Emotion Coaching tab on website
Provide a framework for responding appropriately to mental health wellbeing.
Recognise that staff have the responsibility to alert others to potential and actual indicators of mental health needs and to take this action whenever necessary.
- Through our Wellbeing referral support system and School Pod
- Following our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
- Emotion Coaching Programme (pupils and families)
- Summerfield Wellbeing Test
- Mental Health Support Cycle
- Trained Mental Health First Aid Lead (Mrs J. Duffy)
- Through wellbeing activities and directed wellbeing time
- External supervision (provided weekly)
- Access to Health Assure Services (Solihull Local Authority)
- Remote Functional Fitness Sessions (during lockdown led by our own fitness expert)
We pledge to co-operate with other organisations involved in the delivery of mental health and emotional support services and observe the principles of confidentiality and general data protection in respect of mental health and emotional wellbeing.
What do we do if we believe a child or member of staff needs support?
Any member of staff who is concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a student should speak to the Lead ARM in the first instance. If there is a fear that the student or staff member is in danger of immediate harm, then the normal safeguarding and child protection procedures should be followed with an immediate referral to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Designated Assistant Safeguarding Lead. Any other Safeguarding concerns that are non-urgent should be recorded via School Pod.
The Summerfield Wellbeing Test:
This very simple test has been developed to aid staff in determining if a pupil may be in need of a wellbeing-style structured conversation. It is scored as follows:
|Smiling||Looks ‘sad’ most of the time||Occasionally smiles||Smiles readily|
|Talking with peers||Sits alone and talks to no one||Will talk when prompted||Talks readily with peers|
|Appearance||‘Scruffy’||Generally well kempt||Cares about appearance|
|Talking with adults||Barely engages with adults||Will talk with adult when prompted||Talks readily with adults|
|Attendance and effort||A persistent absentee,
Little or no engagement in
|Attendance rate more than 5% lower than average,
Little/below average effort for this child in lessons/activities
|Attendance average for this child with little fluctuation, rarely late.
Good effort in lessons/activities
A pupil who scores a 7 or higher is considered to have good emotional wellbeing, while a score of 3 or lower may indicate the need for a structured conversation with our Wellbeing Lead ARM who will action the Summerfield Wellbeing flowchart process
Supporting staff to positive mental health and wellbeing
The Management Committee’s ‘duty of care’ towards employees, legislation and case law, require them to manage and safeguard the physical and psychological well-being of the school’s employees.
We need to have a clear understanding of the causes of absence in order to formulate strategies that address non-attendance (sickness absence). The main causes of absence can be viewed as four distinct areas:
The Management Committee will continue to promote and work towards performance improvement and efficiency, getting the very best from our staff, retaining and attracting the people who are best skilled and well-motivated.
Wellbeing in the workplace is relevant to all employees and everyone can contribute to improved wellbeing at work. Addressing workplace wellbeing can help strengthen the positive, protective factors of employment, reduce the risk factors for mental ill health and improve general health.
To fulfil this commitment, the Management Committee and Senior Leadership Team will:
- Make health and wellbeing a core priority. Value the strategic importance and benefits of a healthy workplace. We will encourage a consistent, positive approach to all staff health and wellbeing.
- Make clear the link between employees’ health and wellbeing and improved performance.
- Ensure all leaders at Summerfield, including Senior leaders and Governors, are committed to the health and wellbeing of staff and act as good role models.
- Make communication clear to ensure that staff have realistic expectations of what’s possible, practical and affordable.
- Be aware that a return to work from sickness does not necessarily indicate that an employee’s health and wellbeing has improved.
- Return to work interview takes into account that aggressive return to work procedures can encourage presenteeism to the detriment of our school.
- Recruit staff who have the positive leadership traits associated with improved staff health and wellbeing. These traits include being open and approachable and encouraging new ideas.
- Ensure health and wellbeing policies are included in any induction, training and development programmes for new staff.
- Promote ‘Health Assure Services’ as valuable mental health resources to staff.
- Have a proactive and visible commitment to health and safety and its role in improving the health and wellbeing of staff, that is, view health and safety as part of the culture of a caring and supportive employer – not only a statutory requirement.
- Create a supportive environment that enables employees to be proactive when and if possible to protect and enhance their own health and wellbeing.
- Seek to identify potential circumstances that may affect the wellbeing of staff and conduct risk assessments.
- Increase awareness and understanding of how to promote wellbeing at work and the avoidance of absence.
- Ensure advice and guidance is available to leaders in dealing with wellbeing concerns of staff.
- Ensure that there is a culture where there is no expectation that staff communicate about work outside of normal working hours (except in an emergency, e.g. child protection issues).
- Ensure that all staff take part in a supportive performance management process.
- Conduct frequent (anonymous) staff survey in order to collate information from all staff groups, which will inform future strategies to support the health and wellbeing of staff.
Where possible, staff are supported with their work/life balance and wellbeing outside the school. Examples of this could include providing staff with paid leave for both special events and celebrations, and time off to deal with family problems.
All staff are encouraged to take a responsible approach to health and wellbeing issues, including adopting a robust self-management to their own health.
Wellbeing Audit/ Surveys
The protection and fostering of staff wellbeing is increasingly embedded in our management methods and systems. A staff wellbeing surveys are frequently conducted to assess and audit current level of wellbeing, so that an Action Plan can be developed – decide where we want to be and then work out how we are going to get there.
The Senior Leadership Team are implementing:
- Offering free flu jabs and Coronavirus vaccine (when available from Solihull Local Authority).
- Promote mindfulness or contemplative practices such as yoga, reiki, meditation, emotional freedom techniques, breathing exercises, stress reduction workshops.
- Provide ideas on how to raise a serious subject in a more accessible or fun way, e.g. Macmillan Coffee Morning, Jeans for Genes, Race for Life, World Mental Health Day.
- Have an area where staff can rest and have some ‘peace and quiet’.
- Empower staff through further training such as first aid, time-management, assertiveness, people-management, leadership development, self-esteem, decision making, counselling.
- Signpost health events and occupational health support via teaching unions.
- Maintain the staff WhatsApp group across all staff to improve communications.
- Staff gift days.