Acknowledging stress and the negative impact it can have on lives is a modern phenomenon but is a huge step forward from times when “a stiff upper lip” or brushing mental health issues under the carpet were considered the most appropriate strategy for distress. All organisations have a responsibility to support those in difficulty and to have a set of robust strategies to make their environment a mentally healthy place to learn and work. Nowhere is this more important than in schools where the mental health and resilience of the next generation is in our hands.
With that in mind, Richmond Park Academy is proud to announce its, “You Matter” initiative. This initiative will pull together all of the current strategies we employ as a school and then galvanise it further with the focus of our new Mental Health Champion, Tracey Hunter.
Tracey says, “One of the main elements in our mental health strategy is that we are all here, teachers, students and parents, to look after each other. As a school, we can provide routes to services to support and we will always be proactive in that way. However, on a practical level, it is about recognising that sometimes life can be challenging but a kind word or a thoughtful intervention can make a real difference. We want to empower everyone to take that responsibility on a day to day basis”
Asking for help in school can be daunting. To make it easier, we have created a bespoke email address so that anybody with a concern can contact it discreetly without fear that it will become a public exercise.
We are stepping up when it comes to mental health; nobody should suffer in silence; everyone matters.
If you are worried about something or someone, you can contact the “You Matter” team on their own email address. The mailbox will be manned from 8 am until 3 pm on a daily basis. Any out of hours emails will be contacted the next day. If an out of hours concern is urgent please also get in touch with one of our recommended helplines listed below.
- Tracey Hunter, Mental Health Champion
- Miranda Bartholomeou, Student Counsellor
- Class tutors
- Mentors for Year 11 students - educational and exam stress
- Worry Boxes - for students to post, anonymously or otherwise, their concerns about themselves or a fellow student
- Mental health and resilience assemblies