Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

 


St Robert’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy

 

Purpose

Leadership and staff acknowledge the importance of promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

This policy confirms our commitment to:

  • providing a safe, welcoming and supportive environment
  • promoting a culture of respect, fairness and equality
  • embedding social and emotional learning into the curriculum
  • ensuring families, students and staff are key partners in mental health and wellbeing initiatives
  • engaging and working collaboratively with local health professionals.

 

As a health promoting school, and as a ‘Kids Matter’ school, we will promote the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff and families through learning, policies, creating a safe and healthy physical and social environment, and developing community links and partnerships.

 

Policy Statement

Background

Schools can play a key role in promoting mental health in all children and young people, recognising that children’s and young people’s learning and development is supported by environments that promote mental health.

Mental health promotion in schools is about creating positive, safe and supportive environments, and providing opportunities to build and practice relationship skills, resilience and social and emotional competencies. All staff can be involved in mental health promotion as it relates to every area of the school – the culture, policies, curriculum and activities.

 

Whole school engagement

It is recognised that every member of St. Robert’s community has an impact on students’ health and can contribute to creating an environment that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. All members of our school community including staff, students, families and volunteers will be supported to meet this policy.

 

Definitions

Mental health: For children, this means “the capacity to enjoy and benefit from satisfying family life and relationships and educational opportunities, and to contribute to society in a number of age-appropriate ways. It also includes freedom from problems with emotions, behaviours or social relationships that are sufficiently marked or prolonged enough to lead to suffering or risk to optimal development in the child, or to distress or disturbance in the family.”

 

Resilience: The ability to bounce back from adversity in order to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

 

Social and emotional competence: The ability to recognise and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships and handle challenging situations capably.

 

Procedures

Healthy policies

  • Staff, families and students are involved in guiding the development and implementation of the whole school mental health and wellbeing policy and are seen as key partners in promoting and supporting positive mental health in the school.
  • Staff, families and students are provided with information about policy requirements.
  • If a student is suspected of being at risk of, or experiencing social, emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties the school will work with closely parents and/or primary caregivers to access the best form of early intervention/intervention to identify and address concerns.  A program support group will be established to provide a structure that promotes individual, case management.

 

Healthy physical environment

  • The school provides a welcoming and inclusive physical environment that reflects the diversity and interests of the students, families and staff.
  • The school provides a warm and welcoming space for students, families and staff to meet informally to discuss private matters.

 

Healthy social environment

  • The school encourages and values the contribution of students, families and staff toward establishing and maintaining a positive school environment, and all members of the school community promote a culture of respect, fairness and equality.
  • The school has a range of strategies to promote positive and responsible behaviour, and to prevent and respond to bullying, discrimination and harassment.
  • Members of staff have the appropriate knowledge and skills to recognise and support students who may be at risk of or experiencing social, emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties, including how to access support and make appropriate referrals.

 

Learning and skills

  • The school provides a curriculum that actively engages and builds students’ self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management and relationship skills’, and social and emotional learning is delivered in one or more key learning area.
  • Members of staff are supported to access resources, tools and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote mental health and wellbeing across the curriculum.

 

Engaging children, young people, staff and families

  • Families, students and staff are key partners in developing and supporting mental health and wellbeing initiatives and are, on a regular basis, provided with information, ideas and practical strategies to promote and support mental health and wellbeing at school and at home.
  • Students are engaged in developing and implementing mental health and wellbeing initiatives via junior school council, student action teams or other representative structures.
  • Families and students from diverse cultural backgrounds are engaged to ensure cultural values and expectations about mental health and wellbeing are respected.

 

Community partnerships

  • The school engages with local health professionals, services and other organisations to increase their capacity to deliver and promote mental health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Cultural groups within the community are encouraged to participate in the school’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • The school provides information to students and families about local mental health and wellbeing services, parenting and family services, and other resources that are available to support the mental health and wellbeing of students and families.

 

Related school policies

  • Safe Environments Policy
  • Staff Health and Wellbeing Policy
  • Physical Activity Policy

 

Monitoring and Review

The mental health and wellbeing policy will be monitored and reviewed by the staff, school council, student representatives and the health and wellbeing team at least once every three years.

 

Endorsed by school council: _____________________________

Date: _______________________________________

Next review date: _____________________________________