HOW CAN WE PROMOTE POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR STUDENTS?
We actively encourage good physical health with our students and staff; we know that we need to eat well, take exercise regularly and drink plenty of water. When it comes to our mental health, however, this is not always recognised in the same way: we tend not to think about it until a problem develops. According to a recent article in The Guardian, this is a strategy that has been disastrous for an entire generation of British people (and in particular those under the age of 25).
At Northampton School for Girls, we are committed to a proactive approach to discussing and addressing issues relating to mental health; statistics tell us that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental illness each year and therefore is important that we support our young people to deal with this effectively. We use PSHE in school to discuss a range of issues including body image, bullying, friendship - and a range of wellbeing issues that encourage our students to develop coping strategies that will stand them in good stead as they get older. During tutor time, students are also able to discuss issues on a more personal level with their tutors.