What do we mean by mental health and wellbeing?
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act.
Like physical health, mental health is something we all have. It can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time. We know that our students’ health and wellbeing is dynamic and changeable.
Childhood and adolescence are critical periods for developing attitudes, skills and knowledge for living a healthy life. During this time young people notice, assess and make judgements about what is normal and desirable. Their choices depend on a host of variables such as: what is easily accessible; what is affordable; what their peers choose; what is common practice at home and their experiences. People make choices from what they know. Therefore, schools have a critical role in supporting students to make healthy lifestyle choices.
At De La Salle we ensure that our young people flourish, learn and succeed by providing opportunities for them, and the adults around them, to develop the strengths and coping skills that underpin resilience. We believe that supporting and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing is fundamental to our values, mission and culture.
Our whole-school approach is about developing a positive ethos and culture – where everyone feels that they belong. It involves working with families and making sure that the whole school community is welcoming, inclusive and respectful. It means maximising our students’ learning through promoting good mental health and wellbeing across the school through a meaningful curriculum, extra-curricular opportunities, early support for students, staff-student relationships, strong student and staff leadership and a commitment from all who are part of our school community.
We hope that this information and signposting will prove helpful.