Mental health workersPosted: 27th March 2020
Anxious and depressed young people are getting professional support as their school teams up with the NHS and Department for Education (DfE).
Burnt Mill Academy is part of the DfE and NHS funded Mental Health Trailblazer project.
It means two attached mental health workers, fully trained by the Anna Freud Centre in London, will hold weekly individual and group sessions at the school to support anxiety, low mood and depression.
Staff at the school will be trained to ensure there is a holistic approach to mental health and parents will be given support.
Sarah Hardy, designated safeguarding lead, said: “This is fantastic.
“We will be able to reach out to those students who acknowledge they need support for their problems around low mood and anxiety. It is an early intervention to prevent students getting to crisis point by the time they reach Year 11.
“They will be able to look at exam stress and self-esteem and learn strategies to help them to manage difficult situations. They will be exposed to the situations that make them anxious and discuss how they feel and how they can move forwards.”
One student said: “The school has already put lots in place to help us when we are not feeling great, but I think this will really help me and give me some strategies and ideas to keep feeling better and better.”
The first 20 students have attended a launch breakfast and will take part in their first session this month on self-esteem with Mind in West Essex.
Another student said: “The breakfast we had was really good to show us there are lots of people who come to school to help us, but also how we can help ourselves.”
Munaza Ali, from Mind, said: “We are happy to be working with Burnt Mill Academy on our exciting Trailblazer project, aimed at targeting early intervention in mental health for children and young people.”
The project will last for two years.
The school already offers counselling to those who need more high-level support.