Rydal Penrhos Community
Staff and pupil support system highlighted for Mental Health Awareness Week

Staff and pupil support system highlighted for Mental Health Awareness Week

Rydal Penrhos’ support system for staff and pupils has been highlighted as part of its support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The initiative runs from May 13-19 and the school has spoken on the key elements they have implemented to ensure the well-being of pupils.

A significant number of Sixth Formers have been trained as Peer Mentors, who have been given the responsibility of supporting those who are situated in the Lower School bracket at Rydal Penrhos.

The peer mentors train for eight weeks learning basic counselling skills to help them communicate with younger pupils and some of the issues they might have.

They also organise and run fun activities once every half term for Lower school pupils, and they each take responsibility for a small group of peer mentees throughout the academic year.

The subject of mental health has also become a very important part of the PHSE curriculum, with teacher Mary Richardson stating her belief that “it plays a vital role in keeping our pupils safe”.

A huge variety of mental health issues are discussed during the sessions, such as stress, illness, body image, cyber issues and coping strategies.

Mindfulness and Meditation have been introduced Chapel on several occasions, and both are part of Rydal Penrhos’ extensive co-curricular programme, which also includes Yoga and Pilates.

For anyone with any problems, the school employs a part-time counsellor that is available to both pupils and staff.

Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, said: “The young people of today face pressures and challenges from a range of people, technologies and society.

“I genuinely feel our pupils are in the best place to be supported in facing those challenges but Mental Health Awareness Week reminds us we must not be complacent. We, as a community, need to help each other in being open, honest and supportive.

“That help can be through our wonderful pro-active programmes and rigorous procedures but it can also be through those simple acts of kindness and caring which I see on a daily basis.”

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