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Pocklington School staff train in mental health first aid

Pastoral care staff at Pocklington School have received mental health first aid training as part of a focus on pupil wellbeing.

Posted by Charley Rogers | February 07, 2017 | Health & wellbeing

As young people’s mental health made headlines after Prime Minister Theresa May put it at the centre of her “shared society”, mental health campaigner Dick Moore was delivering mental health first aid training at Pocklington School.

Mr Moore qualified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor after the suicide of his 21-year-old son and now devotes his time to raising awareness of mental health issues among young people.

He spoke to staff about how to spot signs of mental health problems in young people and assess their wellbeing under a triage system, then determine whether external help is required.

Staff now have the tools to assess the mental health needs of their charges, and are all the better equipped to take appropriate action where needed.

Mr Moore also offered advice on ways of reassuring and calming an anxious child, how to listen non-judgmentally, and how to suggest self-help strategies. 

Pocklington School places good pastoral care at the centre of its values, in the belief that a positive and supportive environment provides the best setting for young people to thrive. Pupils are encouraged to talk about any anxieties, knowing staff will be sympathetic and helpful.

The School keeps a close eye on the latest advice on best practice to ensure pupils benefit, and has a wellbeing programme for pupils and staff led by two clinical psychologists. They act as an advice point for teachers, as well as providing confidential advice and support to pupils.

Clare Swann, Head of Pupil Welfare at Pocklington School, said: “We place the utmost importance on pupil wellbeing and Dick’s advice was very well received by our pastoral team.

“Dick speaks with passion on the subject of adolescent mental health, drawing from his personal experience, and is a very effective communicator. Staff now have the tools to assess the mental health needs of their charges, and are all the better equipped to take appropriate action where needed.”

Mr Moore offered the following advice to us all:

Tell your children to:

Laugh and smile. Eat well. Sleep well. Take exercise and fresh air. Don’t expect to be perfect. We fail, just get used to it
. Do not believe that A*s are the panacea for happiness. Accept your emotions. Talk Talk Talk
. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Count your blessings. 

Parents should:

Avoid judging.
 Avoid imposing your own aspirations on your child. Seek to build resilience whenever you can. Encourage the discussion of emotions
. Be aware how negative remarks have three times the impact as positive remarks; and finally… don’t insist on the last word!!

Editors’ notes:

1. Photo attached:

Pastoral care staff receiving mental health first aid training from mental health campaigner, Mr Dick Moore (right)

2. Pocklington is an independent, co-educational school providing outstanding day and boarding education from 4-18 years.  Delivering an excellent all-round education and a vibrant co-curricular life, Pocklington offers a supportive and caring community, all founded on a 500-year tradition.

For further information contact Emily Frankish, Communications Officer on 01759 322639 or email 


Pocklington School Foundation, West Green, Pocklington, York, YO42 2NJ

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