Mental health and wellbeing in schools
A whole system approach to mental health and wellbeing for Highland's children and young people is being supported by psychological services, teaching, support staff and community partnerships across the region.
Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “Supporting mental health and wellbeing in our schools has never been more needed at a time when our children and young people, parents and carers, experience some of the most challenging times right now. The holistic and collaborative approach we are promoting requires the wellbeing of children and young people to be woven across all curricular areas, to reinforce key messages around positive relationships, gratitude, resilience, inclusion, acceptance of diversity and healthy lifestyles.
“For those children, young people and families who experience emotional distress, there is now in place a robust and integrated whole system approach to enable teaching staff, health professionals, community groups and other Community Planning Partnerships to deliver emotional coaching, direct teaching methods and offer support.”
Cllr Finlayson added: “I’d like to commend the psychological services team and the wider community partnerships that have worked tirelessly to develop a holistic and integrated approach to support our children and young people across Highland in the best way our services practically can.”
The promotion of positive emotional wellbeing for all children and young people is a key function of universal children’s services. In practice, this involves the promotion of the principles of Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) across early years’ services and all educational provisions in Highland.
To enable school staff, including teachers, pupil support assistants and administrative staff to be trained in areas of mental health relating to children and young people, Psychological Services have created and trialled a number of training opportunities for staff to support them in relation to promoting good mental health and wellbeing, preventing the escalation of difficulties and intervening appropriately to support children and young people displaying issues relating to their emotional wellbeing, mental health and trauma.
In the 12 months from July 2021 to June 2022, in addition to training related to learning and staff support, 143 mental health and wellbeing related training sessions were delivered to 2652 professionals, parents and children/young people.