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Mental Health Support

We always consider your mental health and wellbeing, and identify learners who may need additional support.

You may be feeling uncertain and anxious and it is vital that you can still access the mental health support you need. We always consider your mental health and wellbeing and identify learners who may need additional support.

Darlington Borough Council have a number of colleagues trained in Mental Health First Aid. These staff members will be available across the service during open hours to provide mental health support to those in need. If you feel you could benefit talking to one of our Mental Health First Aiders you can quietly and confidentially ask your tutor, or you can seek out the designated safeguard officers in the service.

All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines and seeking to use digital and virtual channels to continue delivering support during the pandemic.

Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, a healthy diet and routine, are important protective factors for mental health. Resources to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources we have published to help children and young people to learn at home.

Public Health England have also published more extensive guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is providing £5m of additional funding for mental health charities (to support adults and children).

Digital support includes:

  • an educational resource for adults about children and young people’s mental health, which is relevant for teachers, other professionals working with children, volunteers, parents and carers
  • the Every Mind Matters platform from Public Health England has specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing
  • the Association of Colleges has produced a coronavirus resource hub

Mental health is also covered in the interim safeguarding guidance, and the principles in Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) continue to apply. Below are some suggestions as to how providers have supported their learners with their mental health:

  • making effective use of remote one-to-one counselling
  • encouraging young people to identify their own self-care strategies during this uncertain time; online resources can help with this. Some providers are running live mindfulness classes to improve learner wellbeing
  • completing welfare checks at the start of each session to ensure that all learners are engaged and supported
  • PHSE lessons have been delivered remotely and focused on topics relevant to learners being at home, including mental health awareness, healthy living and online safety
  • there are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can improve mental health. Sport England has enlisted 450 School Games Organisers to help deliver a programme of free daily digital content to help keep young people active

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