Working with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and with West Sussex Mind over the past few months, Thomas A’Becket Junior School staff have organised talks and made wellbeing boxes with pupils, so they could keep a variety of objects to hand to symbolise mental health and remind them of things they can do to help themselves.
The school was one of 56 to sign up to the My Mental Health Promise campaign launched by Sussex CAMHS.
Pupils wrote personal pledges and placed these in the wellbeing boxes they had made with West Sussex Mind.
Charlotte Jameson, enrichment and wellbeing teacher, said: “As a school, we have already been planning for and embracing opportunities to raise the profile of mental health and have been working closely with Louisa Hernandex, Open Minds manger at West Sussex Mind, to integrate this work across the school throughout the year.
“We were really pleased to see the local CAMHS service create the mental health promise campaign and were keen to get involved as it gave us another opportunity to build on this.
“The wellbeing boxes we created have been really successful and are an ongoing activity so that our pupils can continue to add to them and use them. Their mental health promises are inside these and have also been added to their personal reflection books.
“We thought it was important that our staff were also given the opportunity to reflect on their mental health, too, so they were gifted wellbeing boxes as well.
“We were pleased to be able to take part in the mental health promise campaign and will definitely consider any future campaigns like this that are created by CAMHS.”
Schools across Sussex have made a mental health promise to hold vital conversations with their students about wellbeing.
Sussex CAMHS launched the My Mental Health Promise campaign in the autumn and asked all primary schools across the county to make a pledge. To date, 56 schools have signed up, to help students and staff look after their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Ruth Hillman, operational director for children and young people’s services, said: “The positive response we received to this campaign was brilliant and definitely surpassed our expectations.
“We know that the key to good mental and emotional health in and throughout adulthood starts with good mental and emotional health in childhood.”
“For 2020, we are planning to build on the success of the mental health promise campaign and open it up to a wider age range, so that even more young people and staff can benefit from having these vital conversations about mental health.”
Schools have found various ways to be involved, including holding assemblies and delivering workshops focused on mental health.
Email [email protected] for more information and some useful resources.
Visit www.sussexcamhs.nhs.uk for mental health information and helpful tips.