What Does Wellbeing Mean to You?
In this series, Caterham School staff share their personal experience of wellbeing. This week, we interviewed Miss Hart, Head of Fourth Year and PE teacher.
What does wellbeing mean to you?
I believe that wellbeing is central to everything we do. Whether as a school pupil or adult, if we are able to feel comfortable, happy, healthy and supported, then everything else simply seems a little easier.
What do you do to take care of your own wellbeing?
About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to running. Having grown up playing Netball, and other team sports, I had never seen myself as a runner. A year on, I now run two or three times a week, and have just completed my first 10k race. I find running provides me with good, clear thinking time, gets me outdoors, and the endorphin release afterwards is pretty great too. I also like to switch off from the world completely with a good book, or cross stitch. The idea of self-care activities, such as talking to a friend, watching a favourite period drama, or being organised to eat healthy delicious food, I’ve found to be really important when looking after my own wellbeing.
How can schools look after pupils’ mental health and what do you think the priorities are?
I think schools can work proactively to give pupils a set of tools and skills that they can use when navigating life in general, but also if they are finding it tough going. ‘Knowledge is power’ so the greater awareness pupils have, the more this can then positively impact their behaviour, and how they tackle difficulties. At the moment, I believe the priorities are to encourage pupils to look at things with a critical eye. There is no escaping social media for our young people, but if we can provide them with the necessary understanding that what they see (and often compare themselves to) on social media may not be true, then this has to have an impact on their own self esteem. I recently heard someone refer to Facebook as ‘smugbook’, with people only choosing to post the positives of what is going on in their lives. Another priority is the amount of support available to our young people. We are extremely lucky to have a counsellor (and wellbeing dog!) in school every day of the week. However, this isn’t always the case. The more trained professionals that can been available to offer specialist support in schools, is something that would have a huge impact on looking after pupil’s mental health.
What is your number one piece of advice for pupils?
Don’t ever think you have to tackle difficulties alone. Speak to someone you trust, or you know can either help you, or point you in the right direction, and also will not judge you for doing so. Sharing how you feel can often make you feel so much better.Back to Wellbeing page