Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health

emotional wellbeing & mental health

DRAFT Mental Health & Well Being Policy 2021 GUSFORD.docx (2).pdf

On Friday 8th October 2021 we held our annual #HelloYellow non-uniform day to mark World Mental Health Day. Our staff have made this #HelloYellow video to show our young people that it is okay to not be okay, and they are not alone with their mental health.

Thrive Approach

We want all the children in our community to flourish, so we have introduced the Thrive Approach in order to support their emotional and social development. Our aim is to help your children feel happy and secure, able to enjoy friendships, relate well to others and be ready and able to learn.

At Gusford we currently have a Licensed Thrive Practitioners (Mrs Nainthy) and a member of senior staff who have completed the Thrive for Senior Leadership training (Mrs Coleman our SENDCo). Some Thrive sessions in school will be led by other staff with appropriate training, under the direction of one of our licensed practitioners.

Thrive is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their social and emotional well-being, enabling them to engage with life and learning. It supports them in becoming more self- assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubled, or troubling, behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic attainment. Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive. We use these relationships, together with play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development.

Repetition of these activities supports their development, helping them to:

  • feel good about themselves and know that they matter

  • increase their sense of security and trust

  • increase their emotional well-being

  • improve their capacity to be creative and curious

  • increase their self-esteem and confidence to learn

  • learn to recognise and regulate their feelings

  • learn to think before behaving in a certain way

  • ...and much more.

How does it work?

Appropriate for all children from birth to adulthood, The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research into brain science, child development theory and attachment theory. It helps us to understand how babies’ and children’s brains develop, and how parents, teachers and other professionals can best support this development by providing the best experiences for the children at each stage.

Thrive also helps us to better understand the children’s needs being signalled by their behaviour. Sometimes children may struggle as a result of temporary setbacks or other, longer term changes in their lives such as a separation, a bereavement, a family illness or accident, or even the arrival of a new baby. They may signal their distress by becoming more withdrawn, or distant, or perhaps more challenging or disruptive, or even by trying too hard to please. If this happens we use Thrive to look beyond the behaviour to give these children the support they need to get back on track. Sometimes they only need a little extra support in class and sometimes they may need additional one-to-one time to help them along.

How can I find out more?

Find out more about Thrive and how it can help change lives at www.thriveapproach.co.uk

ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support Assistants

Gusford have two staff who are trained emotional literacy support assistants (ELSAs) - Mrs Crocker & Miss Annis.

What is ELSA?

There will always be children in school finding life challenging which can impact on their ability to engage with learning. Some of these children will require greater support to increase their emotional literact than others. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children are more able to learn, and are happier in school, if their emotional needs are also addressed.

The majority of ELSA work will be delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social or friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets, creative crafts or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness.

ELSA aims to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising & naming emotions

  • Anxiety

  • Self-esteem

  • Social skills

  • Friendship skills

  • Anger management

  • Loss & bereavement

ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems, what they can do is provide emotional support. They aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings. ELSA is intended to be short-term purposeful support, usually to help develop new skills or coping strategies that enable the pupil to experience greater success.

Mental Health First Aiders

Gusford has a number of staff who are trained as mental health first aiders for children and young people.

Mental Health First Aiders attend training which looks at how to support young people to recover faster from mental and emotional health issues and how to intervene more effectively at points of mental health crisis.

Our MHFA have been trained to have:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing

  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues

  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress

  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support.


Activities & Resources

Resources for families