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Saturday 16th February 2019
This is how we share information and good practices relating to mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges
20th May 2018
Read The AcSEED Newsletter for May 2018.
11th March 2018
AcSEED is looking for enthusiastic individuals with a passion for improving young people's mental health and wellbeing to help drive the next phase of our growth.
11th July 2017
Read The AcSEED Newsletter for July 2017.
24th July 2016
Congratulations to The Sixth Form College Farnborough in Hampshire ...
25th March 2016
Congratulations to The Beacon PRU in Redditch, Worcestershire ...
25th March 2016
Congratulations to Lordswood Girls' School in Harborne, Birmingham ...
25th March 2016
Congratulations to Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire ...
What could the school have done to support you?
The main thing that I was let down by with my school at the time was I had no work flow coming towards me. Whilst I was still occasionally attending I did get given work and I made sure to complete the work and hand it back in. The main issue was when I stopped going full time down to once every few weeks due to my mental health problems, it slowly became that I was just forgotten about until it was taken into account that I would have to do my GCSEs. One thing I do want to point out though is that they did help me take my GCSE exams, they did this by applying for permission for me to sit them at home, and even sent the head teacher at the time out to watch over me doing them. When someone is extremely down it can become a very delicate situation, and I can see it from the school's point of view but I think they could of been a little more pushy making sure I got a steady work flow too me. This would have been hardly any extra work for the teachers (just keep worksheets in a folder) as they could have handed them to my Mom who was working at the school I went to. I think it's more that teachers just sometimes don't want to go to extra lengths to help out a pupil that is having a lot of trouble, but then again they can't really do a lot if that student isn't in the class.
How did you want staff and teachers to treat and support you?
I think there could of been more understanding of what was wrong with me, but at the same time keeping it confidential. The times I did get into school I found a lot of teachers were telling me that I could talk to them if I wanted to, even ones I hardly talked to. I was quite unsure if they were doing this because they knew my Mom worked in the school. The problem I had with this is that other students noticed and suddenly I was targeted by other people in the class as 'oh what's wrong with you' etc. I think this could be avoided by letting teachers know what is wrong but not making it obvious, I mean it is nice to be asked if you're okay privately, even if they kept me after class. Making teachers aware can be a big thing to that person. Little things make a big difference, for example targeting that student to answer a question when they didn't have their hand up. Little things that make a big difference.
I also know that most schools do this but I found it extremely comforting that I had a 'key worker' that I could go to if I had a trouble with something, for example if I had trouble with a certain class they could arrange for me to get work from that teacher and then work in a selected room with students that had similar issues that couldn't be in normal class rooms for whatever reason.
How important is it for schools to raise awareness of mental illness and how can this be done?
This is something I feel really strongly about. When I was in high-school next to nothing was said or taught on mental health. When I was taken to the GP it was the first time I learned anything about it, I had the typical teenaged conception that anyone that self-harmed was just a 'weirdo'. The main thing I've taken note of over the years was about a class we used to take up until year 10. In PSE (Personal and Social Education) we learned about the things you would expect in that class - Drugs, Sex, First Aid to name a few. Not once do I remember being taught about any kind of Mental Health related issues. With this class being dedicated to Personal and Social Education it would be a great opportunity to give some knowledge in Mental Health.
What do you think a lesson on mental health should cover?
I think the subject in general should be covered, mainly to give a better understanding that it can happen to anyone. I think it would also be good to cover what to do if you think you're suffering with some kind of Mental Illness and who to talk to.