Emotional well-being in schools – a new initiative from Nuffield Health

A guest post from my daughter Bee.

Hey guys, remember secondary school?! It was fun right? Ehem. Well it might have been, if you were one of the more enthusiastic kids and didn’t spend your lunch time sat under the stairs, wearing too much cheap eyeliner and drinking Relentless, the main food group of emo teens.

I guess most people might not describe those five years as the best of their lives, but this is the time when we grow and develop into the people we are going to become in later life and the difference between being 11 and being 16 is a big one when it comes to personal development.

We all know that being a teenager is never plain sailing, but did you know that according to recent research, 75% of school children and young people living with mental illness go undiagnosed? In my opinion, this is totally unacceptable at such a crucial age.

I remember being 14 years old and one morning breaking down to my head of year in her office that I just “never felt happy, any of the time.” I remember feeling terrified, because I had no idea what was going on. While she was perfectly nice and sympathetic about it all, there just weren’t enough support systems in place for me to get the right help at the right time, and in fact I found that I didn’t really receive the correct professional support until I had started university and it was clearly established that my depression and anxiety wasn’t a “teenage phase”. The Health and Wellbeing Team at my Uni are great, and I wish I could have received the same kind of help in earlier education.

Nuffield Health wellbeing in schools

Luckily, Nuffield Health are on the case. They recently launched a school wellbeing pilot, to explore the concept of a Head of Wellbeing post as an integral part of secondary school infrastructure.

The not-for-profit healthcare organisation will be working with Wood Green School in Witney, Oxfordshire, following a national competition to find a secondary school to host the pilot. The unique initiative, which is the first of its kind, will be funded by Nuffield Health and will see the two year secondment of a Head of Wellbeing to help develop and implement health and wellbeing strategy at the school.

The Head of Wellbeing will help devise a whole school approach to wellbeing by bringing together existing practices at the school, introducing new resources and sharing significant knowledge and expertise. As part of a range of services, a Nuffield Health Lifestyle health assessment will be offered to all staff and a Health and Lifestyle Coaching session for students.

Dr Davina Deniszczyc, Nuffield Health’s Medical Director, Wellbeing, said:

“We see this pilot as an opportunity to change the way that schools approach health and wellbeing. A Head of Wellbeing can provide effective support and infrastructure, which has the potential to transform pupil and staff wellbeing. The outcomes over the two years will be invaluable in helping to shape the future of school wellbeing.”

I think that this is a great idea and hope it will be implemented in all schools in the future, to help successfully shape the bright minds of tomorrow.

Image credit – Lydia Vero/shutterstock. Sponsored post.


1 Comment

  1. dibs
    10 September, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    AT LAST!!!!! The one & only thing that I’ve ever wished that the UK school system would adopt from the USA schools is employing a proper Guidance Councillor that look after the students mental & emotional health.
    There are so many stressers for adolescent kids in those 5-7 years of senior school that need a close watch on; even before you add in the whole choosing the exam options that will define your career for the rest of your life bit.

    I so hope that this works & is quickly rolled out across the country

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