Mental Health & Wellbeing
Welcome to the Oaks Park High School Well-being and Mental Health homepage. Here you will find information and support for various challenges both students and parents may face. We hope you will find this information useful.
Just like physical health, we all have mental health. It is important that you look after your mind by:
The school has the following support in place should you need it:
- Form tutors
- Student Services/Sixth form team
- Pastoral Leaders
- Safeguarding team
- Mental Health team
There are a number of mental health and wellbeing apps that can support you when you are not in school. Please see the document below for examples of apps that can support:
If you need to speak to someone right now, please contact one of the following 24-hour services:
Education Support: 02000 562 561 www.educationsupport.org.uk
Please click the tabs below for further information.
Worrying about exams?
It is important to try your best in your exams as your grades can influence your future opportunities so they should be taken seriously, but shouldn’t cause you any distress or upset. Too much stress can make us anxious and tense. This tends to lead to us panicking and struggling to focus. If at any point you feel you are struggling, the best thing you can do is talk to your teachers. It is also important for you to ensure you are getting enough sleep as well as maintaining a healthy balanced diet as this will allow your brain to function at its best.
- Write down your worries – then throw the paper away or give it to someone you trust
- Go for a walk or do some exercise
- Listen to calming music
- Play a game to take your mind off your worries and stress for a bit
- Remember that everyone’s different – try not to compare yourself to your friends
Everyone feels low at some point, which is completely normal. However, for some people, these low feelings stick around and they may need a bit more help to feel better. You may begin avoiding activities you previously enjoyed or avoiding friends or social situations. We understand it can be hard to know what to do when you are going through a rough patch but you deserve to feel better. Try talking to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend.
- Distract yourself – Why not try exercising, meeting up with friends, doing something creative or listening to music you enjoy
- Try improving your lifestyle – Perhaps try eating more healthy food and getting more sleep
- Work on your confidence – Try writing down things you like about yourself or things you are proud of
- Use the school SHARP system to request support or speak to a member of staff in school
Bullying can be defined as any deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, which intentionally hurts another student or group, either physically or emotionally; where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves and is often motivated by prejudice.
Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet, email, online games or digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. Sometimes people choose to bully other people using the internet or a mobile phone as it feels safer this way because it means the person doing the bullying can’t see how much it hurts the other person.
Telling someone you trust could help you report the bullying and give you more confidence to deal with the situation. If someone is bullying or threatening you, something can be done to stop them and you should report it to an adult you trust. If needed, you are able to use the school SHARP system to report this.
- Don’t keep it to yourself -Tell an adult you trust
- Don’t reply to any nasty messages you receive
- Don’t share, comment, or like any bullying posts
- Tell the police if something is serious
- Use the SHARP system to report concerns
Friends can be there to enjoy the best time but sometimes friendships have problems and it can be hard to know what to do. If you are having an argument with a friend, it may be useful to try to think about why they might have acted the way they did. Sometimes we may realise afterwards that we were wrong and we should say sorry and give them time if they want it. Sometimes it may be best to end a relationship which can be really difficult. Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it but if you don’t feel comfortable, it’s okay to say “no” and make your own choices. Sometimes, your friends might start bullying you and it can be hard. There are lots of things that can help you get through it.
- Try to think about why they might have acted the way they did
- Be assertive – this can make it easier to say how you feel
- Be prepared to say sorry if you realise it was your fault
- Give them time
- Use the SHARP system to report concerns
Sexuality and sexual orientation is about who you are physically and emotionally attracted to. Everyone is different, and sometimes understanding your sexuality can be confusing. Some people know who they’re attracted to from a really young age but for others, it’s not so simple. Even though people refer to them together, gender identity isn’t the same as sexuality. Transgender describes people who feel that the sex they were assigned at birth doesn’t match how they feel inside. ‘Coming out’ means telling someone about your sexuality or gender identity. It can take time to feel ready to tell people about this part of yourself. Coming out can help you to feel less isolated and more accepted, but it’s important to be ready. There’s no right or wrong time to come out to someone about your sexuality or gender identity. Only you can say when the right time to come out is.
- Everyone is different, and sometimes understanding your sexuality can be confusing so take your time working it out
- Remember there’s no such thing as normal and you don’t have to feel pressured or rushed to give yourself a label
- It’s important to do what feels right for you
- If you think you are ready to come out, you may find some useful suggestions here
- Use the school SHARP system to report any concerns you have or speak to a member of the mental health team or your Pastoral Leader
Bereavement refers to a period of grief, usually after the death of someone. It is very normal to be extremely sad when someone dies or when you are separated from them. People may experience a range of different emotions, including guilt, anger, shock and numbness, overwhelming sadness and an inability to get on with normal daily routines. If this carries on for many months, people may feel the need to take anti-depressants. However, it is important to note that while the symptoms may feel similar to depression, many argue that the grieving process should be allowed to occur fully. There is no standard time limit and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the bereavement period - everyone must learn to cope in their own way.
Experts generally accept there are four stages of bereavement:
(1) accepting that your loss is real;
(2) experiencing the pain of grief;
(3) adjusting to life without the person who has died;
(4) putting less emotional energy into grieving and putting it into something new – in other words, moving on.
There is a lot of support available for people who have lost someone, including doctors, nurses, counsellors, support workers and charity workers.
- Be aware of the different stages and try to understand which stage you are in
Talk to key family members, friends or a trusted adult
- Speak to a member of staff in school
- Use the resources below to support.
If you are worried you can start to feel tired, upset or like you might ‘go crazy’. Lots of things can make someone worry. Sometimes your worries can become worse than usual and you start feeling scared all the time or maybe start having difficulty sleeping or focusing on your work. It can be hard feeling anxious all the time but there are lots of things you can do to help and there are also lots of people around you who want you to feel happier and comfortable and will help you if you ask.
- Try talking with a friend, family member or someone you trust
- You could try writing down your feelings
- Meditation is another helpful way to relax your mind
- Speak to your form tutor, Student Services or a Pastoral Leader to seek advice
- Use grounding techniques to support you in the short term:
Self-harm is the act of causing damage to your body, usually due to distressing or difficult feelings. However, it is not attention seeking, a cry for help, cool and is quite common. If you are affected by self-harm, you are not alone and there is help available to you.
Seeing somebody about your difficulties does not mean that you are crazy, mad or mentally ill. It just means you need a bit of help to get by at the moment and figure out how to cope differently with your feelings and experiences.
- Talk to someone – this could be your parents, your teacher or another responsible adult
- Try and work out why you are doing it – working out the cause helps to find coping methods
- See a member of the Mental Health team in order to receive support and guidance on alternative coping strategies