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Posted on: May 21st 2017

Deputy Head Reflection...Happy & Healthy @HSG

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by four of our outstanding Year 11 students who were researching views on mental health for their coursework. The asked some very intense and deep questions and really made me consider the provision that we had available to support our learners as they grow up in today’s society. This is something that as a senior leadership team we have been looking at for a few weeks in preparation for the new academic year programmes.

I explained to the students that when I was growing up and going through school mental health awareness was not what it is now – it was taboo, it wasn’t recognised like it is now and there wasn’t the provision available.  I appreciate many might say it is still a taboo area, but there has been great strides made and mental health week was one of those ways in which it has changed.

We discussed the stresses that there were on girls to conform in society, to look a particular way, act a particular way and how this added extra pressures to that difficult growing period during puberty when all young people have to deal with the challenges of their bodies rapidly changing and growing anyway.

At Hornsey School for Girls and 6th Form we take mental health seriously. Mental Health week is a fantastic way to highlight wellbeing, but for us, it isn’t about a week long focus and leaving at that.

 Our pastoral programme is developed, and continuously improving, to support our students in learning about themselves and ways to keep them mentally healthy. We have on site counsellors, internal and external programmes of support as well as peer-to-peer support within our student body. We know that growing up is challenging for students, especially now that new technologies create even more opportunities for cyber bullying and the untold harm that can cause. In the past month alone, we supported Year 7 and 8 with the Betty Bus; Year 9 and 10 reflecting on the dangers of texting and Year 11 and P16 mindfulness techniques to relieve mental health issues with our students. 

I want to end by thanking the 4 year 11 students for seeking me out and asking such deep questions and for raising such important points two weeks ago. We're committed to improving this provision and your questions have helped me focus more rigiously. 

This 2 minute video gives some insight into what young people consider the impact of their social media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElffOUB3TZ4

You may find this video interesting. What is mental health …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y97VF5UJcc

The following link has a number of resources and information sheets that may help. We have a number of others on the website too.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Please do contact your director of learning if you would like further support for your child. 

Ms Rooke 

21/5/2017