St Andrew's C of E Primary Academy

Inspiring children to achieve their personal best

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Wellbeing at St Andrew's Cofe Primary Academy


At St Andrew's Cofe Primary Academy we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers) and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as our physical health is.  

Children's mental health is a critical factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning, engagement and achievement within school. 


Our school Christian vision 'Together we all flourish. Together, we make a difference' encompasses our commitment as a school community to ensuring both the social and emotional development of our pupils is just as important as their academic achievement. 



Is there a wellbeing team at the school?


At St Andrew's Cofe Primary Academy every member of staff are responsible for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing and are part of the team. 

However some key members of the wellbeing team include: 


Mr K. Birbeck- Head of School and designated safeguarding lead (DSL). 

Mrs J. Crowley- Deputy Head and deputy designated safeguarding lead (DDSL). 

Mrs V. Norman- SENCo, deputy designated safeguarding lead (DDSL) and School Mental Health Lead. 

Mrs H. James- ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

Mrs V. Walker- ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)


Parents can always raise concerns about their childs wellbeing and mental health to any members of staff within our school. 

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as:

“A  state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Wellbeing is rather more difficult to define, but there is consensus around the following definition: “Being comfortable, healthy or happy.” 


We all have mental health. Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Everyone knows how to look after their physical health, looking after our mental health is just as important. (Anna Freud).

Currently more than one in ten primary school children aged five to ten has an identifiable mental health condition – that’s around three children in every class. Mental ill health may be presented through a range of behaviours from exam stress and low mood to depression and anxiety.  These responses are often in response to an individual's life experiences. 


What can we all do to promote positive mental health in our community?

Good emotional and mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope better. This means they grow into well-rounded, healthy adults. 

We all experience a range of emotions, feelings or moods every day. Some of these experiences can feel distressing to the person and their families. However, it usually falls within the range of what we could expect within our emotional development. 


It is extremely important that we look after ourselves and each other. We can do this best by offering compassion, kindness, hope, belonging and connection, these are the core values that are within the Trauma Perspective Practice (TPP) which we follow at our school. 


Things that can help children and young people keep mentally well include: 

  • being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. 
  • having time and freedom to play, indoors and outdoors. 
  • being part of a family that gets along well most of the time. 
  • going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils. 
  • taking part in local activities for young people. 


Other factors are also important, including: 

  • feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe.
  • being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves. 
  • being hopeful and optimistic. 
  • being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed. 
  • Accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at. 
  • having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community. 
  • feeling they have some control over their own life. 
  • having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems. 





What support and provision do we provide for children's mental health and wellbeing?

At St Andrew's Cofe Primary Academy we recognise that it is important for young people to have access to the appropriate interventions for mental health and wellbeing as if not supported, this could have an impact on their emotional development in the furture. 


We offer a three stage approach to the support which we offer within our school community, this includes: 

  • A universal layer which is available to all students. 
  • A targeted layer which is support within our school community
  • A specialist support layer which is support that is offered in conjunction with external agencies. 


Universal support:

  • High quality teaching and learning. 
  • Trauma Perspective Practice (TPP) whole school approach. 
  • PSHE/ RSE Curriculum (which includes modules in every year group on mental health and wellbeing). 
  • Open the book assemblies & times to reflect during the day. 
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing awareness events (e.g participating in mental health and wellbeing national days/ events). 
  • Circle times. 
  • Nurture Room available to all students at lunchtimes where adults are available to facilitate discussions, talk about worries and provide listening ears.  Also enables students to have a quiet area to reflect and calm if needing some regulation time.
  • Check ins and discussions with all students, staff will always offer a listening ear. 


Targeted support: 

  •  Use of the nurture room/ safe space for time out of the classroom if required for agreed periods of time. 
  • Check ins regularly by members of the wellbeing team. 
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) intervention programs. Targeted program last for 6-12 weeks. There will be a pre and post assessment to see the impact of the sessions.  Programs may be 1:1 or in a small group.
  • Specific intervention programs for emotional support e.g Anxiety Gremlins, Zones of Regulation, self esteem programs. 
  • Identified trusted adult to seek and talk to that the pupil will develop relationships with. 


Specialist support:

At this stage, the school will work with parents to complete referrals to external agencies who offer a wide range of support. This is normally provided within the school hours and can occur at school or at other locations (depending on what is offered). 

This support could include:

  • Counselling
  • Art therapy
  • Nature based group interventions
  • Music therapy. 
  • Family support
  • behaviour based support e.g CBT.


Some of the external agencies that we have worked with include: The Wilderness Foundation, CAMHS, Kids Inspire, FamilyinFocus, Family Solutions, NHS Wellbeing services, Essex Educational Psychologist Team, Essex Inclusion Partner Teams, Essex Engagement Facilitator Team and The Affinity Project. 


Useful Mental Health and Wellbeing Services & Contacts for North Essex

Mind (Mid and North East Essex)

For information on support and local services available:

For out of hours or crisis support:

If you need help to find services available in the local area for those ages 18 and under, please call Mind: Mid and North East Essex on 01206 764600, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm for a chat and they will do their best to signpost you to the relevant service.


Information, advice and support for parents:

Parents Helpline: Call our Parents Helpline for detailed advice, emotional support and signposting about a child or young person up to the age of 25.

Call us for free on 0808 802 5544 from 9:30am – 4pm, Mon – Fri.

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service

The Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) provides advice and support to children, young people and families who are in need of support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties. The service covers Southend, Essex and Thurrock and is open to young people between the ages of 0-18, or up to 25 for those with special educational needs.

Any child or young person experiencing mental health difficulties as well as any parent, guardian or professional can access the service for help and guidance.

Therapy for you -Online CBT Courses:

Developed and delivered by qualified NHS therapists, our free online CBT-based courses can be completed anywhere, at any time, at a pace that suits you. Our first-of-their-kind NHS courses help you better understand your concerns and teach you powerful CBT techniques to improve how you manage your condition.

Affinity Programme: 

The service is a targeted early intervention project working across all of Essex, including the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock, for children and young people who are at risk of exclusion from education due to emotional dysregulation. The programme provides tripartite support to children and young people (age five up to their 16th birthday), their family and their school.

Colchester and Essex Child Counselling:

Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service 

HCRG Care Group deliver a ‘Family Hub’ service in partnership with Barnardo’s across Essex. It is named locally as the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service (ECFWS) and it is commissioned by Essex County Council (ECC).


A large part of the ECFWS service that we operate includes the delivery of integrated child and family services across Essex for pre-birth to 19 years (PB19)

These are made up of services historically referred to as:

  • 0-5 Healthy Child Programme
  • Healthy Schools Programme
  • 5-19 Healthy Child Programme
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support up to 25 years
  • Children in Care
  • Safeguarding Services
  • Management of Family Hubs and satellite Healthy Family Delivery Sites (previously known as Children’s Centres).

Kids Inspire: 

Kids Inspire provide mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families.

Through a range of therapeutic and community activities we promote resilience, self-awareness, and relationship building to empower more positive life choices.



St Helena Hospice: 

We offer bereavement support free of charge to children and young people in north east Essex up to the age of 17 who are grieving the death of a loved one, regardless of how or where their loved one has died – no hospice connection is required to receive bereavement support from St Helena.

The Wilderness Foundation: 

Through the Wilderness Foundation education and therapy programmes we help children, teens and adults reconnect to society and themselves through outdoor facilitation adventures, nature based therapy and mentoring. Our programmes highlight the positive impact of wild nature on personal and social wellbeing.




Support for parents: 


There are now many sources of information giving guidance and support for parents regarding mental health and wellbeing. 

Below are some links to some recommended national websites for general mental health and wellbeing support information. 


Anna Freud:


BBC Bitesize:



Whatever your worry, you can talk to Childline, they are there to listen and the call is free: 0800 1111 or you can get in touch via their website:

Helpful tools to start a conversation about stress and anxiety with a child or loved one:

Strategies to help feel calmer if experiencing stress and anxiety can be found in ‘The Calm Zone’:


Samaritans: Free crisis helpline 24/7, 365 days a year, for anyone who is experiencing mental health difficulties. Call 116 123. They also have a Samaritans self-help app.


EPIC Friends:






Maudsley Charity:




Mental Health Foundation:


NHS Every mind matters:


Now and beyond:




Place2Be Parenting Smart:


The Kid Calmer:


Winston Wish:


Young minds:


Shout: Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling to cope. To start a conversation, text the word 'Shout' to 85258. Trained Shout Volunteers are here to listen at any time of day or night and messages won't appear on your phone bill.


Bereavement Support


Bereavement UK:


Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK helps families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. We support children and young people (up to the age of 25) when someone important to them has died or is not expected to live, and parents and the wider family when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying. We offer free, confidential bereavement support for individuals, couples, children, young people, and families, by telephone, video or instant messenger, wherever you live in the UK. We also offer face-to-face support from a number of locations.


NHS Bereavement Support:


Anna Freud: Dealing with loss and bereavement:


St Helena Hospice: 

Offer bereavement support free of charge to children and young people in North east Essex up to the age of 17 who are grieving the passing of a loved one. No hospice connection is required to receive bereavement support from St Helena.


Anxiety Support: 


Recognising and responding to anxiety:


Anxiety UK: National Charity helping you to help yourself.


EPIC Friends: Anxiety information:


Anxiety self-help guide/ NHS inform:

Child Friendly mental Health and wellbeing acitvities, websites and Apps: 


Mindful Games- Mindfulness for Kids


BBC Supermoves:


BabbleDabbledo- Creative projects for Kids;


Action for happiness: Monthly calanders with daily activities to support mental health and wellbeing:


Mindfulness meditation for Kids:


Calm APP:


Chilli Panda: Reducing anxiety and improving wellbeing APP:


Clear Fear APP: Supporting to overcome anxiety


Cove APP: Music for your mental health:


Headspace (Mental Health APP- Paid for service)




The Rez Website:


The Worrinots-Children’s wellbeing App