Mental Health

Mental Health

At Brereton we want all of our children to thrive.  However, we know sometimes they need additional support flourish.  If you have concerns about your child please speak to a member of staff in confidence.

You can also phone the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) out-of-hours advice line on 01244 397644. 

The websites below contain lots of information for you as parents and for your child.

Childline

Place 2 Be

Young Minds

Action For Children

Samaritans

What's mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.

Like physical health, mental health is something we all have. It can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time.

Good mental health helps children:

  • learn and explore the world
  • feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • form and maintain good relationships with others
  • cope with, and manage change and uncertainty
  • develop and thrive.

Building strong mental health early in life can help children build their self-esteem, learn to settle themselves and engage positively with their education. This, in turn, can lead to improved academic attainment, enhanced future employment opportunities and positive life choices.

Promoting mental health

There is good evidence that schools can help all children develop essential social and emotional skllls through delivering sessions designed to cultivate these skills, through ensuring broader opportunities are capitalised on to reinforce skills across the curriculum and through whole-school modelling of these skills. Social and emotional skills prevent poor mental health from developing, help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. 

Here at Brereton, we hope our currculum allows children to make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment and that we enable every child to succeed and be valued for who they are.  We believe our PSHE and RE lessons allow children to explore their feelings and emotions and look at how to support themselves and others.  Our worship allows children to ask questions and be open and honest about their beliefs. 

Coping skills

Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time. Neither does it mean avoiding stress altogether. Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, but it’s important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.

  • Negative coping skills are attitudes and behaviours that have often been learned in the absence of positive support and in the face of stressful and often traumatic events and experiences which, over time, may put good mental health at risk.

Example: children at risk of or experiencing maltreatment in the home may have learned to react quickly and in a certain way (flight or fight or freeze) to survive and keep themselves safe. But in a classroom, these reactions may not work well and could get them into trouble, disrupt learning and make them unpopular with teachers and peers. In the longer term, these learned behaviours may also impact on their mental health and wellbeing, sense of belonging, educational achievements, peer relationships and life chances. 

  • Positive coping skills are ways of thinking, attitudes and behaviours that allow children to deal with stress or adversity and which help them flourish. These positive coping skills form an important part of a child’s ability to be resilient in the face of setbacks and challenges. Children who have cultivated robust coping skills can still thrive with support, even when they are mentally unwell.

 

What affects child mental health?

A child’s mental health is influenced by many things over time.

Children have different personalities and they will be exposed to a range of factors in their homes and communities that can trigger worsening mental health (risk factors), or alternatively protect them and help them feel able to cope (protective factors). Ideally, all children should have at least one adult in their life who is monitoring whether they are coping or not.

Identifying children who are struggling

Deteriorating mental health is not always easy to spot and can be overlooked until things reach crisis point. At least two children in every primary school class (based on average class size of 27) are likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition. This rises to three to four students in every class by secondary school age (Green, 2005).1

Around a further six to eight children in each primary school class will be struggling just below this ‘unwell’ threshold (Wyn, J. et al., 2000).2

 

Contact the School

Brereton Primary School

School Lane,

Brereton Green,

Sandbach,

Cheshire,

CW11 1RN


Administration Assistant: Mrs S Henderson
Senco: Mrs N Wood


Tel: 01270 685125

admin@breretonprimary.org.uk