Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Goffs Churchgate we take great pride in the provision we have available to support students with maintaining good mental health. We recognise that mental health concerns are on the rise in young people and have responded to this need by investing considerably in our mental health provision.
Over the school closure for Covid-19, students have been engaged in a number of programmes:
Mental Health Anthem
Goffs-Churchgate Academy chose 'Something Inside So Strong' as our mental health anthem because of its extremely powerful and defiant lyrics. We felt the words fitted perfectly with our journey to end the stigma surrounding mental health, and to provide support and hope not only to our wider school community of pupils, parents/ carers, grandparents, cleaners and staff, but also to anyone who watches the video.
What I like most about the video is that it isn't perfect. It's honest, heartfelt, brave and authentic. Many of the participants were far outside of their comfort zones, but it didn't stop them making telling contributions.
We rehearsed at school prior to the lockdown and then met the challenge of recording the video from our own homes. Maybe striving to be perfect isn't good for any of us, as it can lead to unrealistic expectations and higher levels of stress and anxiety. To all of us who took part in the video and all those who supported this project you are the embodiment of what makes Goffs-Churchgate Academy so special. Thank you, and good mental health to us all.
Two of our staff are fully trained Mental Health First Aiders; as such we can respond effectively to any crisis our students may suffer such as last minute exam nerves. To help our students through the pressure of exams the school also runs very successful Mindfulness sessions. These sessions are designed to help students feel calm and less ‘stressed out’ before their exams.
To raise the profile of mental health across the school, we run a series of mental health weeks over the course of the year. These are supported by regular assemblies. The aim of these weeks is to remove the stigma which can be associated with experiencing mental health issues and raise awareness of mental health and the help we have available to our students.
Throughout Form Time sessions, we cover the promotion of good mental health and resilience. The purpose of these sessions is to educate, help and equip students with the tools they need to progress through school and cope with the stresses and strains of modern school life and beyond.
In other mental health news, we are very excited to now have a formal partnership with Herts Mind and the Samaritans. Both organisations are supporting the school to promote and support Mental Health. Herts Mind joined us in October 2018 to promote Mental Heath Awareness day, and showed students how positive mental health can improve lives, how to ask for help and get the right support. Students are also reminded about where to get help if they need it, and supporting campaigns in school.
We are also pleased to have the support of our fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders; Liz Allum and Jim Clune, who can support students access help and support and also support students working with their parents and carers to make sure they get the right support at the right time.
If you have any concerns about mental health of your child then please contact you child’s Director of Learning who will be happy to discuss the different ways in we can support.
If you have any concerns or would like to talk, please speak to any of the team:
Director of Learning +
Directors of Learning:
Sharon Robson Year 7
Cherelle Kamara Year 8
Jim Clune/Julie Gissing Year 9
Jim Clune/Lucy Taylor Year 10
Suzanna Renew Year 11
Support During Corona Outbreak
Supporting your Child during Exams
As we start to move towards exam season, Young Minds have launched advice for parents about supporting their children.
- Encourage your child to take revision breaks and find a balance between studying and doing things they find enjoyable and relaxing.
- Make sure they are eating and drinking at regular intervals.
- Reassure them – reinforce that you are and will be proud of them no matter what happens.
- Remain positive and hopeful!
- Let them know their feelings are valid and normal, but also offer support and solutions where possible.
- Anxiety is often worst at night and this means it is useful to encourage good bedtime routine
You can find out more here: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-exam-time/
The Ollie Foundation
As part of continued work on Mental Health, we have been made aware of the Ollie Foundation. This organisation offers advice and training for suicide prevention. The link below is to their website
In 2016, three parents who had all lost their teenage sons to suicide, vowed to do all they could to prevent other families suffering similar tragedies. And so The OLLIE Foundation was born.
The OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost is Enough) is a registered charity funding suicide prevention skills training for any individual or community that wants it, especially those interacting with young people, or young people themselves. may be parents, students, school staff, other charity and community groups and many more. The aim of the training is to create 'suicide safe' communities where we create a ethos of awareness and prevention structured around alertness, intervention and recovery.
For any emergency when you cannot talk, call 999 then press 55
The 999 emergency service has an additional service called Silent Solutions for times when
you need emergency help, but cannot speak. The service works in the same way as calling
999. When the operator asks which emergency service you require, if you don’t say anything
they will ask you to cough or make another noise like a tap on the handset. If it’s too risky to
do this (for example, if you are hiding from an attacker), the operator will ask you to dial 55.
This will then alert them to the fact that no, you haven’t called 999 accidentally – and yes,
you need urgent help. The system tracks your location using GPS and sends help.
FREE confidential support in a crisis 24/7.
Call FREE 116 123. Calls cannot be traced.
24/7 counselling service for children and young people.
T: 0800 1111
Mental Health Support
Hector took his life in April 2011 and in his memory Hector’s House charity was established.
It provides an informational resource should you, or someone you know, be having suicidal
thoughts. E: email@example.com www.hectorshouse.org.uk
Herts Mind Network
A charity that creates opportunities for individuals to make choices, find their own solutions
and manage their own wellbeing. T: 020 3727 3600 www.hertsmindnetwork.org
Offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems. It
also provides an online support forum. T: 0300 304 7000 www.sane.org.uk
Herts Wellbeing Service
Offers FREE confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents
experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as worry, low mood, insomnia
Offers a confidential helpline and support service for parents and carers worried about
young people up to the age of 25.
T: 0808 802 5544
A project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe
space to talk and discuss, get advice and help. There is also an online support group.
A national organisation that supports girls and women affected by self-injury or self-harm.
It has a helpline and TESS text service for girls and young women up to 24 years old.
T: 0808 800 8088 TESS Text: 0780 047 2908 www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk
A user-led organisation providing a range of services including support, information, training
and consultancy to people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families.
A user-led small charity creating understanding about self-injury and giving support and
guidance to self-harmers, family and friends. www.lifesigns.org.uk
Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire
Promotes the wellbeing of bereaved people and enables anyone suffering bereavement to
understand their grief and cope with their loss. There is a 24-hour answerphone facility to
leave an out of hours message in confidence.
Adult Helpline: 01707 278389
Young Persons Helpline: 01707 264293
SOBS (Survivors Of Bereavement By Suicide)
The only national charity providing dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by
suicide. The charity is run by 150 volunteers, nearly all have been touched by suicide which
enables them to directly connect with others experiencing bereavement by suicide.
National helpline: 0300 111 5065
Help Is At Hand
An NHS resource for those bereaved by suicide, or apparent suicide, which includes a
detailed advice booklet.
Other websites for support