Fortismere School determined to play pivotal role in supporting students struggling with mental health

Fortismere School

Fortismere School - Credit: Archant

A Muswell Hill school is pulling out all the stops to ensure it plays a pivotal role in supporting students who are struggling with their mental health.

Fortismere School and mental health charity Place2Be held a workshop last week where teachers and members of the community involved in the wellbeing of young people came together to share ideas on how to understand mental health in school settings.

The Tetherdown school commissioned Place2Be to provide emotional and therapeutic support to students in school in 2015. Since then, Place2Be has provided a range of services including short lunchtime and breaktime sessions that are available for all pupils if they wish to talk about something concerning them, as well as targeted weekly one-to-one counselling for individuals who may have a higher level of need.

Headteacher Helen Glass said: “We take the mental wellbeing of our students very seriously and we know that if students are struggling emotionally, they are not in a position to learn.

“In order to help them reach their potential, it is vital to offer this kind of support, especially when other local mental health services are so stretched.

“We value our relationship with Place2B and are very grateful for the work they have undertaken to support our students.

“We wanted to share our experience with other local schools which is why were are delighted to host this conference.”

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Place2Be’s research has found that three children in every classroom in Haringey have a diagnosable mental health problem, with half of those with lifetime mental health issues first experiencing symptoms by the age of 14.

The charity also believes children are less likely to suffer from serious mental health difficulties later in life if they receive support at an early age.

Julia Clements, Place2Be’s principal educational psychologist said: “Schools have a vital role to play in supporting the wellbeing of their pupils and teaching them the skills to cope with life’s challenges.

“Place2Be has been working in partnership with schools to support children’s mental health for 22 years, so we’re delighted that Fortismere School has given us this opportunity to share some of our experience with schools across Haringey.”