From sleep to laughter… | Portsmouth High School

From sleep to laughter…

Much has been written about poor mental health in students at university. For example, Bristol University came under scrutiny when it was revealed that eleven students had tragically taken their own life in eighteen months.

I have no wish to criticise any individual institution but judging from the experience of my own children and their friends coupled with media reports it would seem universities have a way to go until they have anything like the well-being support schools offer. Universities give unconditional offers and accept students onto courses and I believe they have a duty of care to help those that are struggling academically and have in place accessible welfare systems that help those struggling socially or with poor self esteem.

In the Cathedral “Highlights” which is the weekly notes leaflet, Mrs Kitty Price writes of our weekly well-being scheme in the sixth form in her front page address as Cathedral Reader. She mentions how in these sessions the students explore why good mental health is important and how to improve it from sleep to laughter. Mrs Price links it with opportunities at the Cathedral and there is plenty to lift spirits and help others feel better about themselves in the events listed.

Activities to aid well-being are a constant occurrence at PHS. The weekly mindful meander walk is popular – admittedly perhaps some of the attraction is the delightful Bertie, Mrs Coleman’s border terrier, who leads the group. PHS well-being week this week encourages mental healthiness in pupils and staff. A highlight is the positive tree of messages and the random acts of kindness. PHS also has a strong pastoral system with plenty of people to help and listen from our counsellor, tutors, staff mentors, peer supporters, Heads of Year, Mrs Dale and of course Mrs Trim.

We were delighted to have been shortlisted in the well-being category of the Times Educational Awards for our cyber ambassadors scheme. We are proud of all that is done at PHS to provide a secure and happy place in which to learn.