This week it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and I attended a Dukes’ Safeguarding and Pastoral Care conference on Wednesday as part of that. The whole event was a great example of how the power of the collective can benefit individual schools in the group. I enjoyed three sessions as part of the day: staff well-being; ‘Gender Equality in Education’; and ‘Supporting the mental health needs of those pupils and their families experiencing more emotional challenges’.
Together, we spent time thinking about and discussing the various ways to encourage and develop well-being, and how to support young people when mental health difficulties become an issue, significantly impacting their day-to-day experiences.
Mental health referrals are ever-increasing, and more pressure is being placed on schools to spot early signs and support these families. It was a great chance to share our experiences and responses to the key challenges that are being faced by schools, pastorally, and a chance to hear and be heard by peers in similar settings.
Our own well-being support programmes continue in school, and this feels an apt time for a reminder that it’s our second Supporter’s Club ‘Talks for Parents’ event on Monday. The talk is entitled ‘Power and Control in Families – Who’s in Charge?’ and is aimed at parents with teenage children or children who are not far from that tricky age.
The talk is being run by Vince Hesketh, a family therapist, who has worked with families and teenagers for thirty years here in Cambridge and now works at the Croft Children’s Unit (NHS). In the session Vince aims to cover the need for setting boundaries, being seen to be fair, and the best ways to keep children safe and happy. He says, ‘Parents of teenagers often feel very confused and uncertain about rules and sanctions with this age group, particularly if they haven’t quite worked out where they stand on issues to do with control and authority. I’ll look at what being a ‘good’ parent actually involves and what works best with adolescents.’
You can book tickets for this event here.
Read the previous “A word from the Principal” here