Good mental health and resilience

Mental Health Information & Support Directory

Our mental health team is led by Mr Jordan, Mrs Evans and Mrs Cooper. They are assisted by Ella Baldwin (Senior Prefect) and student volunteers known as mind mentors.

All students complete a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at the start of the school year. This is a widely used mental health measurement which enables us to decide upon and direct them towards the appropriate support. They also receive a mental health card which contains details of important sources of support – they add the names of trusted adults in their lives to this card. 

For most students, the ability to identify and talk to these trusted adults will be sufficient to help them maintain a good state of mental health. However, for other students, support will be offered as follows:

Self Help Guidance

The first step for students experiencing issues with mental health is to identify strategies which they can use to help address that presenting issue. We present below links to self-help guides covering a range of issues. These are produced by the local Schools Partnership support programme (Gade Schools Family Support) using experience and expertise developed as a result of years spent working closely and effectively with local families. They are designed to be used independently, either by students themselves or with their families. In addition, we direct students towards helpful websites and applications. Should you require any help with this guidance, please contact Mrs Cooper – she would also be interested in any feedback you may have so that we can continue to offer the most helpful resources.

Crisis and emergencies

NHS – Emergency Call: 999 24/7,  professional health advice call 111.

Police – Emergency Call: 999 24/7, non-emergencies call 101.

Samaritans – Call: 116 123 – a confidential emotional support service available 24 hours a day.

Childline – Call: 0800 1111 – a counselling service for parents, children & young people.

General Mental Health Support

Kooth – an online counselling service for young people. No referral needed. https://www.kooth.com

Young MInds – the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Advice for young people and parents/carers. http://www.youngminds.org.uk

STEM4 – aims to improve teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage.  www.stem4.org.uk

Mind – national mental health charity which offers a range of materials on all aspects of mental health. It also lists details of local Mind Associations (one of which is on the Leighton Buzzard Road in Hemel Hempstead) www.mind.org.uk or call: 0300 123 3393

Rethink Mental Illness – national mental health membership charity working to help everyone affected by severe mental illness to recover a better quality of life. It aims to make a practical & positive difference by providing hope & empowerment through effective services, information & support.  www.rethink.org or call 0300 5000927

MindEd – a free educational resource on children & young people’s mental health for all adults. MindEd for Families has online advice and and information from trusted sources and will help you to understand early issues and best support your child.  https://www.minded.org.uk

Elefriends – a supportive online community where you can be yourself. A safe place to listen, share & be heard.  www.elefriends.org.uk

Hub of Hope – the UK’s biggest mental health database aims to bring together all of the mental health support available in the UK in one place.  www.hubofhope.co.uk

General Apps (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

Dragon in the Attic (for children aged 8-12) – an app developed to teach younger children how to make healthy choices for their mind & body. A game where children are given a pet dragon to look after to build confidence & educate them about issues such as mental health & bullying. https://dragonapp.me/play

For Me – all of the Childline services available as an app.  https://www.childline.otg.uk/toolbox/for-me/

Headspace – an app which teaches mindfulness meditation principles to improve wellbeing.  www.headspace.com

Moodpanda – app-based platform allowing people to track their moods.  www.moodpanda.com

SuperBetter – evidence-based app that has been created to help young people build resilience to become stronger, happier and healthier.  https://www.superbetter.com/

StressHeads – an app approved by the NHS Choices website to help 16-25 year olds identify and cope with stress. It includes games to help distract young people from immediate stress and monitor their causes.  https://www.themix.org.uk/apps-and-tools/stressheads

Anxiety & Depression Organisations

Students against Depression – offers information & resources validated by health professionals alongside tips & advice from students who have experienced it themselves.  www.studentsagainstdepression.org

Anxiety UK – helps all those suffering with anxiety disorders. Self-help leaflets and contact lists as well as groups, counselling & email support. Section on young people and anxiety.  www.anxietyuk.org.uk

No Panic – a registered charity which helps people who suffer from panic attacks, phobias, OCD and other related anxiety disorders.  www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD-UK – Information & support for OCDs in children & young people. Useful guides including teens’, children’s & parents’ guides.  www.ocduk.org

Apps: Anxiety & Depression (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

Mindshift – designed to help teens & young people cope with anxiety by teaching them how to relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking & identify active steps to help take charge of anxiety.  https://www.anxietybc.com/resources/mindshift-app

MoodKit – approved by NHS Choices, this app uses CBT principles to help people with depression & anxiety manage & track their moods. It has a ‘thought checker’ to identify negative thoughts & and ‘activities’ tool to suggest wellbeing activities.  http://www.moodtools.org/

SAM – self-help app for anxiety which includes a personal toolbox, negative thought buster, colouring exercise and information. It won Best Anxiety App 2016 in the Healthline awards.  http://sam-app.org.uk/

Stop Panic and Anxiety Self-Help – an app for people experiencing panic attacks. It can provide immediate audio assistance during a panic attack & help prevent them occurring. It may not be suitable for all forms of anxiety.  https://www.excelatlife.com/apps.htm#panicapp

Youper (for Social Anxiety) – helps those suffering from social anxiety to gain confidence in situations, using the principles of CBT, ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) & MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Therapy). It aims to help people understand their anxiety, control it & then challenge it using real-life guided practice exercises.  http://www.youper.co/start-now

Suicidal Crisis/Thoughts Support

The OLLIE Foundation – a Hertfordshire-based charity aiming to increase the awareness of suicide & help prevent young people from feeling this is the only option left for them.  www.theolliefoundation.org

Stamp Out Suicide – points of contact for those feeling suicidal, bereaved by suicide or concerned about suicide. Promoting awareness & prevention.www.stampoutsuicide.org.uk

CALM (Campaign Against Men Living Miserably) – a charity helping to prevent male suicide in the UK. They provide a helpline, webchat service & advice if you are worried about someone.  www.thecalmzone.net

Cruse – Bereavement Care – offers support, advice & information to children, young people & adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people through face-to face talk, telephone, email and website support.  www.cruse.org.uk

PAPYRUS (Parents Association for the Prevention of Young Suicide) – advice & information for parents, carers, teachers, professionals & friends of young people at risk of suicide.  www.papyrus-uk.org

Apps related to Suicide (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

Stay Alive – offers help & support to people with suicidal thoughts & those concerned about someone else. Key features include: Quick access to UK national crisis support helplines, a mini-safety plan, a LifeBox to which the user can upload photos from their phones to remind them of their reasons to stay alive, strategies for staying safe, tips on how to help a person thinking of suicide & suicide bereavement resources.  https://www.prevent-suicide.org.uk/stay_alive_suicide_prevention_mobile_phone_application.html

Child Bereavement UK – developed by Child Bereavement UK and a group of young people who have experienced bereavement. It helps young people who have experienced loss to feel less alone & provide information on where they can get more support.  https://childbereavementuk.org/our-app/

Psychosis Organisations

Rethink Mental Illness – a national mental health membership charity working to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life. It aims to make a practical & positive difference by providing hope & empowerment through effective services, information & support.  www.rethink.org

Sane / Saneline – a national out-of-hours helpline which provides support & information to anyone coping with mental illness. It has a helpline which offers support to callers. The website offers extensive literature on subjects including schizophrenia, depression & therapies.  www.sane.org.uk  or call 0300 3047000

bipolarUK – a user-led charity working to enable people affected by bipolar disorder to take control of their lives. The organisation provides support for people with bipolar disorder, their families & carers.  www.bipolaruk.org

Apps: Psychosis (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

EMoods Bipolar Mood Tracker – an app to help users track their moods, medication, sleep & other common symptoms related to bipolar disorder.  http://emoodtracker.com/

Self Harm Support

selfharmuk – supports young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask questions and be honest about what’s going on in their life. Part of Youthscape.  www.selfharmuk.co.uk

Lifesigns – charity aiming to guide people who hurt themselves towards new ways of coping when they’re ready for the journey. Helpful resources & strategies to minimise harm.  www.lifesigns.org.uk

Harmless – provides a range of services about self-harm including support, information, training & consultancy to people who self-harm, their families, friends and professionals.  www.harmless.org.uk

National Self-Harm Network – monitored forums supporting individuals who self-harm to reduce emotional distress and improve the quality of their life.  www.nshn.co.uk

Self Injury Support – for girls & young women up to 24 years in the UK affected by self-harm.  www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk

Alumnia –  An online course by selfharm.co.uk for young people aged 14-18 helps them to find other ways of dealing with the ups & downs of life.  http://alumnia.selfharm.co.uk/

Apps: Self-Harm (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

Calm Harm – based around the principles of dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT). It aims to help young people resist the urge to self-harm by using four task categories which reflect the reasons why many people choose to self-harm: distract, comfort, express or release.  http://www.stem4.org.uk/calmharm/

Self-Heal – uses DBT principles to help users resist the urge to self-harm. Also uses an image library for distraction & to promote recovery.  http://www.self-healapp.co.uk/Home/

Eating Disorder Organisations

Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC) – provides personal advice & support to anyone affected by anorexia, bulimia, binge eating & all kinds of eating distress. They support sufferers & their family & friends towards full recovery.  www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk

Boy Anorexia – information about anorexia in boys in association with the book ‘Boys Get Anorexia Too’ by Jennifer Langley.  www.boyanorexia.com

Student Minds – information about a project aiming to improve support available to students & young people with eating disorders by setting up a network of student run self-help groups. The website contains information about existing self-help groups & how to get involved.  www.studentminds.org.uk

b-eat (beating eating disorders) – provides information on all aspects of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders & other related eating disorders.  www.b-eat.co.uk or call 0808 801 0711

Apps: Eating Disorders (Apps should not be used instead of professional support, but as an addition.)

Recovery Record Eating Disorder Management App – includes: meal logging, meal planning, coping skills, rewards for recovery wins. It is social & secure, can be used in conjunction with treatment teams & has good reviews.  https://www.recoveryrecord.com/

Rise Up Recovery Warriors – eating disorder recovery tools including meal logging, behaviour tracking, emotions & thought tracking. Also has information & activities around body image, mindfulness & relationships. Can be used in conjunction with treatment teams.  https://www.recoverywarriors.com/app/

Trusted Adults

A trusted adult is someone that you have a good relationship with. It is someone who you think has your best interests in mind and with whom you feel safe. Your trusted adult may be someone at school or it may be someone outside of school. You can have more than one trusted adult – indeed, at the start of the year, we asked you to nominate three. You have a right to choose your trusted adults

Your trusted adult:

  • can talk to you about any concerns or worries that you have and help you to do something about them.
  • could support you to talk to other people about your concerns or worries.
  • should be someone that you have regular contact with.

Mind Mentors

While most students can maintain good levels of mental health through self-help and trusted adults, some need more focused and regular support. At The Hemel Hempstead School the first level of such support is provided by trained student volunteers known as ‘Mind Mentors’. Training is provided by the school’s Mental Health First Aider and therefore reflects the best in current national practice. Being closer in age to the students they are working with, these volunteers can relate well to them – in many cases, for example, they have experienced the issues affecting mental health themselves in the very recent past. In addition, as non-professionals, they can often build up a closer relationship with students which allow the latter to feel comfortable, trust and talk about issues which might not feel so comfortable with adults.

MENTORS

While most students can maintain good levels of mental health through self-help and trusted adults, some need more focused and regular support. At The Hemel Hempstead School the second level of such support is provided by an experienced and dedicated team of staff known as mentors. Students’ mental health is assessed at the start of the school year and those with ‘abnormal’ scores are high priorities for this level of support. Others in this category include students have who have had four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), those who have experienced domestic abuse and those at risk of self-harm. As a rule, students meet their mentor weekly during registration time with termly reassessment of their needs.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDER

A Mental Health First Aider is a trained individual who can recognise the crucial warning signs and symptoms of poor mental health in young people and can guide a young person to the appropriate support. Please note that the Mental Health First Aider is not a therapist, counsellor or clinician. We consider the role to be analogous to physical health first aiders. Thus, the Mental Health First Aider acts as the first point of contact and advises an appropriate course of action, whether that be GP appointment, presentation to Accident and Emergency or referral to mentors and counsellors. Similarly, to physical health first aiders, the Mental Health First Aider would generally be seen in an emergency, but it is also possible to book appointments via Student Services

COUNSELLING

We have two fully trained, highly experienced counsellors on staff. They have weekly appointments with students who present with the most serious mental health needs. In some cases, it has not been possible to meet these students’ needs at lower levels of mental health support and, as a result, these students have been ‘stepped up’  In other cases, students are referred for counselling on the basis of specific needs which are appropriate to this level of support. We see the school counselling as an incredibly precious resource and, as such, it is reserved for those students are represent the highest priority for us in terms of their mental health needs. The counsellors are highly effective in reviewing and assessing these needs – students will continue on the counselling list as long as they require counselling but no longer.

REFERRALS

Some students require support with mental health issues which go beyond what the school can offer. In these cases, a referral is generally made to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) by the student’s GP. In some cases, the school may make the referral. Students may also be referred to other outside agencies depending on need.