World Mental Health Day 2021

Amidst the challenges of the past 18 months, discussion around good mental health has been brought to the fore. 

With the observance of World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10 October, we shine a spotlight on the importance of good mental health and how Farnborough Hill supports its pupils to develop self-awareness, resilience and the mindset and tools to embrace life’s challenges.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.  

Mental health affects how we think, feel and ultimately act.

Good mental health is vital in helping children and young adults to grow and thrive, to learn and explore the world, to express and manage their emotions, to form and maintain good relationships with others and to effectively manage change or uncertain situations that they come across in their everyday lives.

At Farnborough Hill, these themes are regularly explored and discussed through PSHEE lessons, Assemblies, Form Time, Retreats, prayer and reflections.  The School’s ethos centres around ‘Educating the Whole Person’ and pupils are actively encouraged to take time to engage in activities which feed their souls as well as their minds through our co-curricular programme.

As part of its extensive pastoral network, Farnborough Hill offers a confidential counselling service with Mrs Michelle Blockley, available to all pupils from Year 7 through to the Upper Sixth. Sometimes, outside of formal sessions, it can be that a pupil is having a difficult week and needs someone to talk to but does not necessarily need a full set of counselling sessions. To assist with this a drop-in service is held every Friday lunchtime. No appointments are needed, pupils can just call in to St Raphael’s Well-being Centre for a chat. 

F’Hill’s Four Ways to aid Well-being

Connect

Humans are social creatures and need meaningful connections in their lives and to have a sense of belonging.  Our pupils never need to feel alone. Everyone in school shares the responsibility to care for one another and support pupils’ well-being.  Form Groups form the core of this support, with Houses also essentially family units where pupils find their place and older pupils care for and support the younger ones.

The School’s mobile phone policy also ensures age-appropriate device-free time which further strengthens connections and allows valuable face to face discussion between both pupils and staff.

Be active

It is well documented that physical activity, whether it be as simple as a walk or something more competitive, provides positive health benefits, both physically and mentally.

Sport is an integral part of life at Farnborough Hill, and the School offers a huge range of sporting activities and clubs for those who want to participate right through to those who want to compete at the top of their game. Not only does sport promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also builds and strengthens connections and promotes teamwork, resilience and problem-solving.

Keep learning

A key aim at Farnborough Hill is to develop a love of learning; academically, and about oneself and the world at large.

The School’s extensive co-curricular programme offers a multitude of opportunities to broaden horizons through Music, Sport, Art, Drama and much more beyond. No matter what a pupil’s passions are, whether they have yet to be discovered, they will find something of interest to engage with, give them space and allow them to grow.

Give

It feels good when we give, whether giving kindness, time, money or expertise.

Farnborough Hill provides pupils with opportunities to work for the betterment of others and to become compassionate leaders. Our pupils demonstrate a willingness to give their time and effort to benefit other individuals or groups, without expectation of reward or return.  That could be through charitable fundraising, helping with sports coaching or clubs, or offering time and a voice by assisting with School Council or as a Form Captain, Prefect or a member of the Junior Leadership Team.

Additional resources:
https://www.mind.org.uk/
https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk