Ask the Expert
How can I help my teenager in this era of concerns over a crisis in mental health?
Helen Broadley, Principal of the King’s School’s Girls’ Division, says:
“Last month, there was a stark warning from The Children’s Society that almost a quarter of all 14-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year. It blamed the crisis on a shortfall in social care funding and a lack of support in schools. However, there are many things that schools are doing to support both children and their parents.
Schools such as King’s take the wellbeing of pupils exceedingly seriously, and have structured programmes in place to help equip young people with the tools and skills they need. We recognise that we may not be able to remove all the causes of stress and anxiety in a modern society where social media, peer pressure, and issues such as appearance, sexuality and pressure to succeed are all part of daily life. But we can teach our young people how to manage these pressures, as well as how to identify the signs of stress and use self-help techniques and, of course, signpost where help can be found.
Schools must take a proactive approach to wellbeing. Last year at King’s, we launched a programme to support pupils, staff and parents. It is wide ranging and covers healthy living, physical activity, happiness and resilience and it is implemented through training, assemblies, tutor sessions, external speakers, yoga and mindfulness sessions. We provide access to staff trained in Mental Health First Aid, as well as access to a qualified counsellor.
We also support parents with presentations and workshops on e-safety and how to develop stronger, more resilient young adults. We work closely with Cheshire Police to educate children and their parents about staying safe online and the risks associated with gaming, sharing images and choosing appropriate privacy settings.”
a: King’s School Macclesfield, Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, SK10 1DA