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Mental Health & Mindfulness Matter at The Mount 


As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close – with a focus on movement this year – we thought we would look at recent in-school initiatives: 

  1. Our full-time Nurse Jess conducts lessons with all senior years on stress management, mindfulness and identifying any areas of well-being concern. This was complemented by the school counsellor giving an insightful talk on stress and anxiety to Year 10s. Some other related topics covered by Nurse Jess are healthy relationships, changes in the brain and risky behaviours.  
  2. We often talk about managing our technology usage in a balanced way and being aware of the mental health benefits of frequent breaks from devices. This is combined with online safety and strategies for not letting online problems build into a great ball of worry. 
  3. There are regular sessions on mental health stigma and self-esteem. There have been classes on reframing negative thinking, which have included looking at definitions of various modes of negative thinking and how to recognise and defeat such thoughts.  
  4. There is also encouragement to consider other people’s well-being, especially in our annual ‘Compassion at Christmas’ sessions. There are further sessions on tackling bullying and cyber-bullying, friendship issues and understanding diversity and difference. Pupils are reminded of the importance of being respectful of classmates and that we should all be allowed to flourish in a focused environment without distraction. 
  5. Some classes have looked at positive links between physical and mental health. We also look at general health, such as sleep and energy, to keep the mind and body in good order.  
  6. Sport and fitness are key to good mental health. Our PE Team ensures all pupils participate in a wide range of sporting opportunities, whatever their level. Years 10 and 11 often enjoy a Yoga Day on the first day of term and all of senior school has an induction and access to our on-site state-of-the-art gym from Year 7. Boarders can use the equipment at weekends too.  
  7. There has been a strong focus on developing inner strength, whether this is via PeaceJam (looking to the work of Nobel Peace Laureates for inspiration: overcoming adversity, maintaining drive and passion, gaining esteem and strength by working on our own peace projects) or setting personal or study goals at the beginning and end of the year, as well as managing and overcoming obstacles.  
  8. Form tutors introduce the topic of addiction for some years to discuss impulse control, risk and how to seek help when needed. A speaker was invited in for Years 10, 11 and Sixth Form to talk about the pitfalls of alcohol and other substances and how to seek help for yourself and your family should you need to do so. 
  9. Year 7s are helped with organisation and routine to ensure they’re not overwhelmed as they start senior school. Also, near the start of the year, a class was run with Year 7 to encourage positive reinforcement of personality and hobbies, and why it is ‘good to be you’. This year’s class responded to this very well, showing confidence in their individualism. In written tasks, pupils appeared to feel they have freedom to be themselves and to be different.  
  10. There are regular lessons covering healthy communication and knowing when something might be a problem with tips on confidence-building.  
  11. We provide general prompting all year round to seek help and ask advice from a trusted member of staff, a trusted adult, or the safeguarding lead, as needed.  
  12. Very recently, a PSHE communication box was introduced in the library for any girls who want to express something but may not want to make that initial step face-to-face.  

Mental health and mindfulness come first at The Mount and we are always seeking new opportunities to equip pupils for school and beyond, setting good habits now for a happy adulthood.  

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