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Mental Health

& Well-Being Policy

Overseen by both the Curriculum and Finance and Resources Committee

This policy should be read in conjunction with:

  • Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
  • Disability, SEN and Inclusion Policy
  • Looked After Children Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Behaviour & Relationships Policy - Links with the behaviour and discipline policy are especially important because behaviour, whether it is disruptive, withdrawn, anxious, depressed or otherwise may be related to unmet mental health need. We consider behaviour to be a message.
  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) Policy


The Importance of Mental Health and Well-Being

At our school, we aim to promote positive mental health and well-being for our whole school community; pupils, staff, parents and carers, and recognise how important mental health and emotional well-being is to our lives in just the same way as physical health.

We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall well-being and can affect their learning and achievement. Persistent mental health problems may lead to pupils having significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of those of the same age.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice identifies Social, Emotional and Mental Health as one of the four areas of Special Educational Need. The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that:


“in order to help their pupils succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”.


At Countess Anne School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and well-being of our pupils and staff.  We also have a role to ensure that they are able to manage times of change and stress, be resilient, are supported to reach their potential and access help when they need it. Additionally, we have a part to play in ensuring that pupils learn what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and where they can go if they need help and support.


Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and be a school where:

  • all pupils and staff are valued,
  • pupils and staff have a sense of belonging and feel safe,
  • pupils and staff feel able to talk openly with trusted adults and colleagues about their problems without feeling any stigma,
  • positive mental health is promoted and valued,
  • bullying is not tolerated.


Purpose of this Policy

This policy sets out:

  • how we promote positive mental health
  • how we prevent mental health problems
  • how we identify and support pupils with mental health needs
  • how we train and support all staff to understand mental health issues and spot early warning signs to help prevent mental health problems getting worse
  • key information about some common mental health problems
  • where parents, staff and pupils can get advice and support


Definition of Mental Health and Well-Being

We use the World Health Organisation’s definition of mental health and wellbeing:


… a state of well-being in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.


Mental health and well-being is not just the absence of mental health problems. We want all children/young people to:

  • feel confident in themselves
  • be able to express a range of emotions appropriately
  • be able to make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • cope with the stresses of everyday life
  • manage times of stress and be able to deal with change
  • learn and achieve


A Whole School Approach to Promoting Positive Mental Health


We take a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health that aims to help pupils become more resilient, be happy and successful and prevent problems before they arise.


This encompasses seven aspects:

  1. creating an ethos, policies and behaviours that support mental health and resilience that everyone understands
  2. helping pupils to develop social relationships, support each other and seek help when they need to
  3. helping pupils to be resilient learners
  4. teaching pupils social and emotional skills and an awareness of mental health
  5. early identification of pupils who have mental health needs and planning support to meet their needs, including working with specialist services
  6. effectively working with parents and carers
  7. supporting and training staff to develop their skills and resilience
  8. helping staff, pupils and parents to understand the potential positive and negative impact of online platforms on mental health


We also recognise the role that stigma can play in preventing understanding and awareness of mental health issues and aim to create an open and positive culture that encourages discussion and understanding of mental health issues. We aim to be a ‘talking school’ with an ‘Open Door Policy’.


Roles and Responsibilities

We believe that all staff have a responsibility to promote positive mental health, and to understand about protective and risk factors for mental health. Some children will require additional help and all staff should have the skills to look out for any early warning signs of mental health problems and ensure that pupils with mental health needs get early intervention and the support they need.


All staff understand about possible risk factors that might make some children more likely to experience problems. These can include:


  • a physical long-term illness
  • having a parent who has a mental health difficulties
  • death and loss -such as the loss of friendships
  • a family breakdown
  • bullying
  • experiencing trauma


The staff also understand the factors that protect children from adversity, such as self-esteem, positive communication, developing problem-solving skills, a sense of worth or belonging and emotional literacy.

These are promoted through our Golden Values of respect, kindness, perseverance, forgiveness, courage and gratitude.


The Pastoral Care Team


The Pastoral care team is responsible for supporting children who are vulnerable, require additional support with their mental health and wellbeing, being the first point of contact with mental health services and support and keeping staff up to date with information and training available about mental health.

The team consists of:

Designated Safe Guarding Team representatives: David Lodge, Emma Byrne, Rebecca Lawlor

Mental Health Lead: Rebecca Lawlor

Family Support Worker: Sue Rockhill

Staff representative: Beat Crew-Gee

Art Therapist; Fuyuko Takeda

We recognise that many behaviours and emotional problems can be supported within the school environment, or with advice from external professionals. Some children will need more intensive support at times, and there are a range of mental health professionals and organisations that provide support to pupils with mental health needs and their families. Support includes:

  • Safeguarding/Child Protection Team
  • Support staff to manage mental health needs of pupils
  • SENCO who helps staff understand their responsibilities to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including pupils whose mental health problems mean they need special educational provision.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) - core meetings to support staff to manage mental health needs of pupils
  • Autism Outreach
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Nessie Therapies - https://nessieined.com/


Supporting our Community’s Positive Mental Health

We believe we have a key role in promoting our community’s positive mental health and helping to prevent mental health problems. Our school has developed a range of strategies and approaches including;

For pupils:

  • Campaigns lead by the Make Believers (representatives from each year group, Head Boy and Head Girl)
  • Collective Worship
  • Golden Values
  • Opportunity for prayer in and around school including in class and assembly
  • Sporting activities
  • Mental Health Wellbeing focus threading throughout the school ethos and PSHE curriculum
  • Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) resources
  • Anna Freud Schools in Mind resources
  • Encouraging positives relationships so children can be aware of Trusted Adults around them and where to find support
  • Assembly of Mental Health and Wellbeing themes
  • Daily Mile in KS2
  • Friendship bench
  • Enrichment programme
  • Small friendship, social skills groups
  • Lunch Club support – such as Chess Club
  • School based art therapist
  • Access to a range of residential trips
  • E-Safety and awareness of impact of actions

For parents:

  • Weekly invitation to awards assemblies
  • FOCAS coffee and uniform mornings
  • Open afternoons / Early Years Plus Open forum
  • Parent residential
  • Parent voice - opportunities to speak to governors
  • Governors‘ Garden party
  • E-safety and parenting workshops hosted by the school’s Family Support Worker

For staff:

  • Team Building Day
  • Performance management meetings – one per term
  • Appropriate c.p.d opportunities including opportunities to go abroad
  • Payment for attendance at residential trips
  • Shorter day on Friday
  • PPA and leadership time allocated
  • Parent Consultations during the daytime
  • Team meetings
  • Gift from governors
  • Mentors for ECTs and those progressing through NPQs.
  • Use of staff meetings to manage admin tasks



Teaching about Mental Health and Emotional Well-being

In KS1 and KS2 We use the PSHE Association framework including the core themes:

  • Relationships
  • Living in the Wider World
  • Health and Well-being


We teach the knowledge and social and emotional skills that will help pupils to be more resilient, understand about mental health and help reduce the stigma of mental health problems. We support this using other resources such as those from Mentally Healthy Schools, The Anna Freud Centre, Boxall Profiling and Zones of Regulation.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework sets out standards to make sure children aged from birth to 5 learn and develop and are kept healthy and safe. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) is a prime area of learning.


Our approach is to:

  • provide a safe environment to enable pupils to express themselves and be listened to
  • provide key and trusted adults with an emphasis on relationships
  • ensure the welfare and safety of pupils as paramount
  • identify appropriate support for pupils based on their needs
  • involve parents and carers when their child needs support
  • involve pupils in the care and support they have
  • monitor, review and evaluate the support with pupils and keep parents and carers updated


Early Identification

Our identification system involves a range of processes. We aim to identify children with mental health needs as early as possible and provide a prompt response. We do this in different ways including:

  • Identify individuals that might need support
  • Liaising with our family worker and art therapist
  • working with the School Office staff who are often the first point of contact with families seeking support
  • home visits in Foundation Stage identify needs
  • induction meetings for pupils / families joining after the Reception year
  • analysing behaviour, exclusions and attendance
  • using Boxall Profiles to track children identified as having difficulties
  • pupil surveys at the beginning of the school Year
  • staff report concerns about individual pupils to the Inclusion Manager/SENCO and Designated Safeguarding Team
  • Speak Out boxes in each class for pupils to raise concerns which are checked by the class teacher
  • weekly staff meeting for staff to raise concerns about individual children
  • termly Pastoral Care Team (PCT) meetings to discuss vulnerable children
  • gathering information from a previous school at transfer or transition
  • parental meetings
  • enabling pupils to raise concerns to class teacher and support staff
  • enabling parents and carers to raise concerns through the school class teacher or to any member of staff
  • Meetings with outside support services such as CAMHS, MHST, SALT, ASD Outreach, Art Therapist or Educational Psychologist


Any member of staff concerned about a pupil will take this seriously and talk to the SENCO, Family Worker or Designated Safeguarding Team.

These signs might include:

  • non-verbal behaviour
  • isolation from friends and family and becoming socially withdrawn
  • changes in activity or mood or eating/sleeping habits
  • lowering academic achievement
  • talking or joking about self-harm or suicide
  • expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
  • an increase in lateness or absenteeism
  • not wanting to do PE or get changed for PE
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • physical signs of harm that are repeated or appear non-accidental


  • wearing long sleeves in hot weather
  • repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause


Staff are aware that mental health needs such as anxiety might appear as non- compliant, disruptive or aggressive behaviour which could include problems with attention or hyperactivity. This may be related to home problems, difficulties with learning, peer relationships or development.

If there is a concern that a pupil is in danger of immediate harm then the school’s child protection procedures are followed. A risk assessment and plan will be made.


Verbal Disclosures by Pupils

We recognise how important it is that staff are calm, supportive and non-judgmental to pupils who verbally disclose a concern about themselves or a friend. The emotional and physical safety of pupils is paramount and staff listen rather than advise. Staff are clear to pupils that the concern will be shared with the Inclusion Manager/Designated Safeguarding Team and recorded in order to provide appropriate support to the pupil.


Non-Verbal Disclosures by Pupils

Staff also recognise persistent and unusual non-verbal disclosures in behaviours in line with the NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) recommendation that behaviour may be an unmet need or message.



All disclosures are recorded and held on the pupil’s confidential file, including date, name of pupil and member of staff to whom they disclosed, summary of the disclosure and next steps.


Assessment, Interventions and Support

All concerns are reported to the Designated Safeguarding Team and recorded. We then implement our assessment system based on levels of need to ensure that pupils get the support they need, either from within the school or from an external specialist service. Our aim is to put in place interventions as early as possible to prevent problems escalating. The Safeguarding Team regularly reviews all processes. All staff are trained in child protection.

We recognise that just like physical health, mental health and emotional well-being can vary at any given time and is fluid and changes, there are no absolutes.


Working with Specialist Services

In some case a pupil’s social emotional mental health needs require support from a specialist service. These might include anxiety, depression, school refusal and other complex needs.

We make links with a range of specialist services, such as CAMHS and PALMS, and have regular contact with the services to review the support and consider next steps, as part of monitoring the pupils’ provision.



Involving Parents and Carers


Promoting Mental Health

We recognise the important role parents and carers have in promoting and supporting the social emotional mental health and wellbeing of their children, and in particular supporting their children with mental health needs.

To support parents and carers:

  • we organise a range of Mental Health workshops accessing expertise from voluntary services, such as Step2Skills
  • we provide information and signposting to organisations on our websites on mental health issues and local wellbeing and parenting programmes: https://www.countessanneprimary.org.uk/Community/Parent-Support/
  • supporting parents and carers with children with mental health needs through sensitive and supportive regular meetings and signposting.


When a concern has been raised the school will:


  • contact parents and carers and meet with them
  • in most cases parents and carers will be involved in their children’s interventions, although there may be circumstances when this may not happen, such as child protection issues.
  • offer information to take away and places to seek further information
  • be available for follow up calls
  • make a record of the meeting
  • agree an Action Plan
  • discuss how the parents and carers can support their child
  • keep parents and carers up to date and fully informed of decisions about the support and interventions


Parents and carers will always be informed if their child is at risk of danger. We make every effort to support parents and carers to access services where appropriate. Pupils are our primary concern, and in the rare event that parents and carers are not accessing services we will seek advice from the Local Authority. We also provide information for parents and carers to access support for their own mental health needs.


Involving Pupils

We seek pupils’ views and feedback about our approach and whole school mental health activities through Pupil Voice, surveys and class questions.

We have a group of representatives from each group and a Head Girl and Boy from Year 6 who contribute to pupil voice and discuss ways to support others in the school and wider community.  


Supporting the Social and Emotional Needs of Pupils

We want all staff to be confident in their knowledge of mental health and wellbeing and to be able to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, identify mental health needs early in pupils and know what to do and where to get help. 

Those staff with a specific responsibility have more specialised training and where possible access to supervision from mental health professionals.

Staff training to raise awareness of social emotional and mental health well-being topics have been accessed through Nessie Therapies and Protective Behaviour Workshops. We also provide regular ‘inhouse’ training from the Safeguarding Team.


Monitoring and Evaluation

This policy was produced in conjunction with the whole school. Its effectiveness will be monitored by the SLT and reported to the Governing Body. This policy will be reviewed every three years or sooner if deemed necessary.


2nd October 2023


Review date: annually