At Penistone Grammar School, we understand the importance of addressing and supporting the mental health needs of our students. That's why we have implemented a comprehensive mental health support program that is grounded in research-led practice.
Our mental health support program is led by a trained Mental Health Practitioner and two trainee counsellors, who provide individual and group counseling sessions to students. We also have an art therapist on staff, who uses creative expression as a tool to support students' mental health. Our Staff Wellbeing Ambassadors, Student Peer Mentors, and close partnerships with external agencies, further enhance the support we provide to our students.
Our efforts have been recognized, as we are proud to have been awarded the Leeds Beckett Gold Award for our mental health support. We were one of the first secondary schools to receive this prestigious award, demonstrating the excellence of our support program.
Our Assistant Principal who oversees mental health has a deep understanding of the field, with an MA (distinction) in School Leadership in Mental Health. They also work one day a week on secondment to Minds Ahead, where they teach and train other schools in the effective mental health support for students, bringing back the latest evidence-based practices to Penistone Grammar School.
We are committed to providing our students with the best possible support for their mental health, and we continuously strive to improve our program through ongoing research and professional development.
What are mental health problems?
In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.
Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you're frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.
Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Could I be ‘going mad’?
Experiencing a mental health problem is often upsetting, confusing and frightening – particularly at first. If you become unwell, you may feel that it's a sign of weakness, or that you are 'losing your mind'.
These fears are often reinforced by the negative (and often unrealistic) way that people experiencing mental health problems are shown on TV, in films and by the media. This may stop you from talking about your problems, or seeking help. This, in turn, is likely to increase your distress and sense of isolation.
However, in reality, mental health problems are a common human experience. Most people know someone who has experienced a mental health problem. They can happen to all kinds of people from all walks of life. And it's likely that, when you find a combination of self-care, treatment and support that works for you, you will get better.
Useful links for students & parents / carers