Here at the Wellington Academy, we understand that our students’ mental wellbeing is important and that positive mental wellbeing is fundamental to a child’s ability to succeed.
The Wellington Academy strives to raise awareness about mental health and to reduce any associated stigma. We aim to educate our students about the importance of mental health and broaden their knowledge and understanding to help empower them to effectively manage their own wellbeing in making healthier and more positive choices.
Below are just some of the ways that we currently support our students but we are continually reviewing and developing services based on valuable and relevant feedback from our students:
- A rolling 6 week mental health awareness course entitled ‘Mental Health Investigated’, offered every term (1 x 50 minute lesson per week). Referrals can be made by students, parents and Academy staff. Please contact the year office to request a place on the next available programme.
- 1:1 personalised and intensive support from the Academy’s Wellbeing Advisor. Spaces for this level of support are limited and there are thresholds in place due to such high demand. There may also be a waiting time of a number of weeks before your child can be seen but we will do all that we can to ensure that this waiting time is kept to a minimum. We want to ensure that we can offer a quality service. Where 1:1 support cannot be provided, signposting and referrals to other relevant external organisations will be made to ensure the best possible support is given.
- Termly Information, Advice and Guidance sessions for 6th Formers covering the following key areas of mental health:
- Disordered Eating
- Managing Stress
- Understanding Anxiety
- Positive Mental Wellbeing
- Low Mood and Depression
- Unhealthy Coping Strategies (to include substance misuse and deliberate self harm
- A weekly ‘drop in’ health clinic run by our allocated NHS school nurse. This takes place every Tuesday during lunch times from 12:15 – 13:15. Individual referrals can also be made to this service by Academy staff for more regular and personalised support. Just ask the year team for details.
- Service Pupils Support Group – This support network is designed to support our students from an Armed Forces background who may require additional support with managing some of the challenges that come with having a parent in the Armed Forces. For example; parents going away on tour or being deployed, if a parent has been injured in their line of duty, if a parent is due to be posted etc. The Academy has a team of staff who have volunteered to offer this support to this group of students due to having close connections to the Armed Forces themselves and subsequently, a good level of understanding and empathy. Staff act as mentors offering a listening ear and advice and guidance.
- Drop in services – The 6th Form Student Leadership Team offer a break time and lunch time drop in service which is open to all students. All students have the opportunity to drop in and chat to a number of the 6th Form students who work on a rota basis to cover this drop in service. They are there to offer a listening ear, help and support in a relaxed and friendly environment. The 6th Form students are supported by the 6th Form team and the Wellbeing Advisor who are on hand to supervise their work and ensure that appropriate advice and support is being given to students. They have been trained to know what to do if they are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a student.
- The Worrybox - The Worrybox has been set up to enable students to contact the Academy via email if there is an issue which they are concerned about that is making them worried or anxious. The Worrybox can be used by all Wellington Academy students. The Worrybox is accessible via the Academy’s website here and students simply complete an online form. This is then sent directly to the Worrybox team who will pick up and address the issue as soon as possible.
The Wellbeing Advisor works closely with many other charities and professional organisations within Wiltshire and has particularly strong links with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). We support children and young people and their families in completing appropriate referrals. More information about this specialist service can be found at:
For those young people who do not meet the thresholds of the CAMHS service, counselling support is available via other professional organisations (usually for a small fee):
Family Counselling Trust - http://www.familycounsellingtrust.org/WhatWeDo.html
Andover Mind - http://www.andovermind.org.uk/450-2
IMPORTANT - We advise that if you are seriously concerned about your child’s mental wellbeing that you request an emergency appointment with your GP. In extreme circumstances, you can visit your local A & E department.
Understanding mental health can be a complex and daunting thing, not only for the child/young person but also for family members and those caring for them. Below is a list of useful websites that can provide valuable information, advice, guidance and support to young people and their families about mental health:
Anxiety – www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Eating disorders – www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
Self harm – www.selfharm.co.uk , www.nshn.co.uk , www.harmless.org.uk , www.lifesigns.org.uk
Service Pupils Support Club - This club is open to students across all year groups who have a parent(s) currently serving or has previously served in the Armed Forces. It's a lunch time group which takes place every Tuesday and is held in room 163. It's a relaxed group where students can bring/eat their lunch and snacks and drinks are provided. The club is supported by the NSPCC who work with Academy staff to deliver a wellbeing programme, covering some of the challenges that service children might face i.e. deployment, homecomings, change, stress, worry/anxiety etc. The group also allows students to meet others who may be experiencing some of the same challenges as them and can relate with true understanding
The Welly Wellbeing Scheme - It’s a scheme where students sign up to receive anonymous gifts once per term (£5 max limit) from a fellow wellbeing buddy, to help improve their personal wellbeing. If you sign up to receive a wellbeing gift, you must also donate a gift for a fellow wellbeing buddy. That way, everyone who signs up receives a gift at the end of each term which helps to make them feel good! It's a great way to spread happiness and positivity.