Across all of Kedleston's schools and homes, the mental health and well-being of the children and young people is a top priority. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14th-20th), we look in detail at the extensive support provided at Wings School Cumbria.
The therapeutic support available at Wings School Cumbria is extremely important. With an in-house psychology team, the school is able to support young people more fully and directly address psychological need.
Educational Psychologist Jo Simm and Clinical Psychologist Nicola Kennelly offer psychological support at Wings. When a young person arrives at the school, Jo and Nicola get to know the child and observe how well they are settling in.
At this time, they work with both education and care staff to assess and evaluate the young person’s emotional well-being, their learning and strengths and difficulties. When settled, all children then meet with Jo and Nicola who complete a baseline assessment with them.
After the assessment, if the team believe the young person would benefit from psychology-led interventions, then they will work closely with the education and/or care teams to put these in place.
Sometimes individual therapeutic sessions are not always the answer and simply being in a safe place where their voices are heard and the young people feel valued and cared for is, such as Wings Cumbria, is enough to bring stability to their lives and they do not require ongoing psychological support.
An individual learning plan is created (which is line with an EHCP) and goals are identified for care and education to work towards.
If individual therapeutic support is required and consented to, the psychology team use an eclectic and integrative approach drawing from psychodynamic therapy, behavioural and parenting models (Webster Stratton and Mellow parenting), positive psychology approaches such as solution focussed therapy, and third wave CBT approaches (ACT, CFT and DBT). More specific therapy for trauma can be offered such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR).
The clinical team is supported by the onsite school nurse who supports young people by addressing core health issues. Equine assisted learning can also be offered as part of the individual learning plan. We also have working relationships with the local CAMHS, YOS and Paediatric teams as required.
The clinical team also offer weekly meetings with care staff (along with the Registered Manager, Head of Care and School Nurse to discuss young people’s needs and to integrate our holistic approach for the children.
Jo has extensive experience working in a wide range of schools including independent specialist provision residential schools and mainstream schools. She works closely alongside teachers and other members of the school community to promote aspects of learning and day to day school life.
Nicola has worked in the NHS for 23 years. She has wide experience, having been in CAMHS services for 12 years, working in an autism diagnostic service, with children with learning disabilities, within a child development context, and with children with diabetes and medically unexplained symptoms. Areas of special interest that have run through these posts are attachment and issues of child development.