Nook Lane Junior School in Stannington is the latest to sign up to The Sheffield Telegraph’s mental health charter.
Launched as part of the Let’s Talk campaign, the charter aims to create awareness, reduce stigma and highlight some of the brilliant work already being carried out by the city’s schools.
According to charity Young Minds, one in 10 children, so roughly three children in every classroom, have a diagnosable mental health condition, and half of mental health problems manifest themselves by the age of 14.
And while the issue of mental health difficulties in adults, something that affects 25 per cent of the population, is finally being brought to the fore, the same sadly cannot be said for awareness of the issue among children and young people.
Children at Nook Lane are taught to name and understand their feelings and reactions to situations through the use of a ‘toolkit’ of strategies that is gently built up between Year 3 and Year 6.
Headteacher Steve Arbon-Davis said: “Emotional and mental health has been at the heart of Nook Lane Junior School’s inclusive culture for many years.
“This supports children in being resilient, mindful and optimistic by using a positive psychology approach, trying to turn 'red thoughts' (our negative ones) to ‘green thoughts' (positive ones) and applying solution-focused strategies when we are not feeling 10/10.
“The daily scaling of our feelings helps us to appreciate that we have good days and not so good days but we can always find something positive in any day.
Nook Lane also has an Emotional Well-Being Pupil Council, in which students can give their thoughts and help staff provide the best environment for this to happen.
Mr Arbon-Davis added: “Our Calm Corner is a result of the children’s ideas about supporting mental health and well-being in school and our pupil-led assemblies enable children to talk openly and honestly about how they have managed and been supported with their own difficulties, which is hugely inspirational and helpful to both children and staff.
“All of our practices aim to ensure that there is no stigma about mental health in our school. We want our pupils, staff and families to feel comfortable discussing any aspect of their mental health and to work together to support each other.”
It is hoped that every school in Sheffield will sign up to the charter.
It has been developed in a way that each school can interpret it in its own way.
Any schools wanting to sign up to the charter should email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org