- Published: Friday, 09 February 2018 11:59
Children’s Mental Health and Kedleston
The mental health and well-being of all the children we support is vital and is a key component in allowing them to achieve their full potential.
As a group, Kedleston operate residential schools, day schools and children’s homes for young people who require additional support and for whom mainstream settings haven’t met their needs. Each of our schools and homes recognises the importance of and therefore offers different mental health support for young people in their care.
In this, Children’s Mental Health Week, there has been much discussion about what can be done to support young people’s mental health. At Kedleston, as a very basic, we recognise the value of good mental health and the potential impact it can have for a young person.
Our residential schools, for example, offer in-house therapeutic support on site. Educational psychologists work with staff and young people while support such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and psychiatry as also available. We also work with local CAMHS teams.
Wings School Notts, for example, approaches the combination of education and care flexibly to meet the needs of individual young people. It aims to look beyond what is “wrong” with a young person, instead focusing on what a young person may have experienced and how that may be contributing to their difficulties.
The goal of the school is to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, enabling them to achieve in education, enjoy social activities, have positive relationships and feel empowered and supported to take care of themselves physically and emotionally as they make the transition towards independent living.
It has developed a multi-disciplinary service featuring professionals with a range of clinical backgrounds and experiences that will help us to provide a bespoke care package and meet the complex needs to this group of young people.
The types of issues the team can work with include trauma, abuse, attachment difficulties, self-harm, aggressive behaviour, child sexual exploitation and sexually harmful behaviour.
At High Peak School Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is in practice. A team of staff from the school attended an extensive training course in the therapy which helps them support the young people in their care in their mental health. The course also helped them become one of the first in the UK to embed the therapy on a whole school basis.
The team of 11 who attended the training learned DBT skills which have been demonstrated to be effective in helping adolescents manage difficult emotional situations, cope with stress, and make better decisions.
High Peak was one of the first English schools to adopt a whole school approach to embedding the programme into the curriculum, training staff to teach skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
However, it is not just our residential schools who support mental health in this way. Day school pupils and those living in Kedleston’s children’s homes also have access to appropriate therapeutic support including educational psychology, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
As an organisation we believe that good mental health helps young people engage with education and achieve and that giving them access to the right clinical and therapeutic support is part of ensuring their education helps them succeed.