The School plays an increasingly important role in supporting students to make healthy lifestyle choices and to understand, not only the benefits of health and well-being, but also the links between wellbeing and thriving both academically and socially. The Well-being Hub has been established to support the good mental health, resilience and well-being of our students and young people and to provide a resource where our students can speak freely about the pressures they face, without fear of stigma or discrimination. It also provides targeted support for a range of concerns including body-image, mental health, emotional wellbeing, anger management, self-esteem and anxiety issues. In addition, group work is delivered to cover a wide range of topics which can affect wellbeing, to supplement 1:1 support for students who require long-term support.
Within the School structure, a strong support network has been created. This includes each child’s Tutor, Learning Co-ordinator and Heston’s in-house Well-being Hub where the School Counsellor [Monique Fearon], the Learning Mentor [Sam Saib] and the Designated Safeguarding Lead [Margot Currie] are based.
The importance of good mental health, and strategies to promote this, are taught across all year groups, through PSHE, the Tutorial Programme, Super Learning Days and Assemblies. From Year 7, skills for good mental health are covered, including a focus on the practice of mindfulness. In addition, annually, Student Mentors from Year 12 receive training to enable them to support younger members of our community through some of the issues they may have faced themselves.
We encourage students to explore the resources below and to inform their Learning Coordinators if they require additional support.
Below are organisations which provide external support for students and families.
Click on the tiles below to open the link to the organisation.
TOP TIPS FOR WELL-BEING
1. Stay connected with people
We all need to feel connected, so keep in touch – whether it is with people you normally saw often or reconnecting with old friends. There are many different ways to stay in touch with friends and family when you cannot meet in person. Think about scheduling time each week to speak over the phone or make time for regular video calls. Social media is another good way to stay connected, but make sure you take breaks from your digital devices and switch off before bed.
2. Talk about your worries
It is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation.
Remember: it is good to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.
If you cannot speak to someone who you know, or if doing so has not helped, there are helplines you could try. Go to the School website:
About Us | Well-being Hub – here you will find information and links to different organisations where you can find support.
3. Support and help others
Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people's concerns, worries or behaviours at this time. Try to think of things you can do to help those around you. Is there a friend or family member nearby you could meet outdoors? If you cannot meet up, you could phone or message them.
4. Do something different - try a new activity or hobby
Try something new can really help to distract you from how you feeling. You could try learning new recipes, painting, drawing or a craft, find new games for all the family to take part in, learn how to play an instrument or read books that interest you.
5. Sleep well
Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough. Try to keep to regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. See our sleep page for more advice.
6. Keep active
Physical activity does not just keep our bodies healthy; it also helps our mental wellbeing. Read the ideas below to see which would be best for you:
Dance – put on your favourite song and move to the beat!
If you have stairs in your house or building run up and down and you will quickly get your heart pumping
Go for a walk with someone
Explore videos on YouTube or exercise apps. A daily workout routine lasting for 5-10 minutes will leave you feeling more energised.
7. Enjoyable activities
Try something new. There are many free cultural activities on line: watch a play or documentary, try online quizzes and music concerts. Try to make time for doing the fun things you enjoy. If you like going for a walk, painting or a specific TV show, try to set aside time to enjoy yourself. If we do not spend any time doing things we enjoy, we can become irritable and unhappy.
8. Show kindness
One of the best ways to feel good in ourselves is to show kindness to others. Even small acts can make a big difference to others and improve your wellbeing too.
Share happy songs or music with friends and family
Find videos, memes or articles that make you smile and share these with your friends
Get everyone in your home to pick a favourite film and plan evenings where you can watch together, as a family
Thank you notes – write a message to someone you are grateful to and leave it somewhere they will find it as a surprise
Treat your family – offer to make your family dinner and talk to each other over the meal
Learn to cook – choose a recipe and make the dish or cake and share.
9. Get lost in a book or podcast
Studies have shown that getting lost in a book is the most effective way of reducing your stress levels by up to 68%. It helps the body and brain relax. It makes you more empathetic to others, increases your intelligence and your memory and can make your brain stronger.
10. Drink more water
Dehydration will affect how we feel and think very quickly. Drinking water regularly throughout the day is an easy, effective step to take to be as mentally healthy as possible.
11. Get into the sun
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which is an important vitamin for our bodies and our brains. It helps our brains to release chemicals, which improve our mood, like endorphins and serotonin. Try to go out in the sun when you can, but make sure you keep your skin and eyes safe. 30 minutes to two hours a day of sunlight is ideal.
12. Focus on the present
Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions and improve our wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people deal with feelings of anxiety, or you could try this NHS mindful breathing video.