How we support students with their mental health at The Farnley Academy

Mick Hill
Inclusion & Safeguarding Leader (KS4) (Designated Child Protection Officer)

Student wellbeing is absolutely paramount to us here at The Farnley Academy. We ensure that students develop high quality relationships and experience a calm and consistent environment at all times as an aspect of our trauma informed approach. The quality of education and engagement of student voice allows students to feel empowered within the setting and this will be the only support many students will need during their time at the academy. However for some students additional support is needed to manage the emotional challenges which many young people have to face. Our inclusion team have undertaking training on numerous aspects of emotional wellbeing such as mental health and bereavement enabling them to support students when required. Any referral for support should go to the appropriate Key stage Lead who would facilitate coaching or mentoring where appropriate.

For those students who need a higher level of intervention the school has Engaged Place2Be who facilitate a professional counselling service on site and are an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

The support provided by Place2Be is informed by attachment theory, which suggests that our early relationships affect our development. Their mental health professionals use an ‘integrative’ approach. This integrative support for children brings together different strands of therapeutic thinking to support the development of each pupil, these are outlined below.

Victoria Hill
Inclusion & Safeguarding Leader (KS3) (Designated Child Protection Officer)

  • Person-centred – helping pupils and family members make the best decisions for themselves
  • Psychoanalytic – exploring how buried thoughts, feelings and experiences shape current relationships
  • Systemic – working with pupils and family members in the context of their relationships and environment.

They might also apply aspects of:

  • Cognitive behavioural – helping pupils and family members manage problems by changing how they think and behave
  • Solution-focused – helping pupils and family members work towards their own solutions. Our mental health professionals may have additional areas of expertise. This enables us to support even more people.

The work is guided by three core principles:

  • Building relationships – in the Place2Be room (a therapeutic relationship based on trust) and outside (positive relationships with others)
  • Developing self-awareness – for our mental health professionals (so they can provide effective support) and clients (to help them manage their emotions)
  • Encouraging play – as a ‘language’ for children and adults that allows them to explore feelings and learn new things.