Broader school staff
For change to be effective mental health and wellbeing needs to be a core thread that weaves through all school activity and everyone’s roles and responsibilities.
What staff can do
Every contact between a child and a staff member has to help – because anyone can hold a part of the jigsaw that could support a struggling child to move forward. This means that all staff should:
- Understand their contribution towards helping children build strong social and emotional coping skills and resilience as a solid foundation for dealing with life’s ups and downs.
- Model positive, empathetic and kind behaviours as well as good social and emotional skills. Build confident, open, healthy and trusting relationships with children to help them feel safe and strengthen their resilience.
- Help children understand and manage their emotions as well as know when and how to seek advice.
- Reflect on and understand what factors might be driving difficulties with behaviour, emotions or learning.
- Be alert to signs that a child may be in distress. Notice those who may need extra help early; asking how they are and linking children, as appropriate, with buddying/peer support, counselling/other school-based help, or external advice and help.
- Feel confident about starting a conversation, knowing what to do or who to talk to next.
- Support children during and after support or treatment so that they can continue to learn successfully.
- Try the hardest and be the most persistent and patient with those children least engaged with staff and school.
- Look after their own mental health and wellbeing and watch out for the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues; know where and how to get help and support.
- Embrace professional learning opportunities and continuous development to reflect upon classroom relationships and strategies, and to improve and update knowledge of child mental health and wellbeing.