School in Sandwell scoops pioneering mental health award

A school has achieved a mental health award for its outstanding wellbeing provision.

Pictured left to right, Kerry Whitehouse, School Engagement Development Manager, Jessica Postings, Willow Ferrer, Christina Handy-Rivett, Headteacher
Pictured left to right, Kerry Whitehouse, School Engagement Development Manager, Jessica Postings, Willow Ferrer, Christina Handy-Rivett, Headteacher

St Michael’s Church of England High School in Sandwell was given the gold standard of the award delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

The school provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including a range of tailored interventions, meditation workshops and student led initiatives.

In addition, the school works closely with local agencies and the NHS's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Staff are also supported with access to training and support to ensure their own mental health and wellbeing is prioritised.

Christina Handy-Rivett, St Michael’s headteacher, said: "I am extremely proud of all our student-led initiatives.

"It is imperative that students are given a voice and are supported to help inform and shape events for our families and local community.

"Students’ confidence, enthusiasm and passion for leading wellbeing initiatives and events is infectious; they act as the catalyst for change that we hope to see in society."

The school’s mental health and wellbeing provision is built around its ethos and values, which have become embedded in the day to day life of the school.

A Wellbeing Advisory Board, which meets once a term, provides the opportunity for governors, staff, parents and students to come together to consult on ideas and further develop the whole school approach to wellbeing.

Mrs Christina Handy-Rivett said: “We have consistently put in place a myriad of strategies, however, working towards the award allowed for a more strategic focus; benchmarking our provision against best practice.

"A coherent whole school approach, supported by Governors, ensures our student and staff mental and physical health and wellbeing provision is prioritised.

"Following the loss of a beloved headteacher in October 2021, we are resolute in our commitment to ensure the highest standards of support are provided for all in our school community."

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: "This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

"It is thrilling and humbling to learn about St Michael’s Church of England High School and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process.

"I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition."

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News