Thinking outside the box to tackle mental health

Optimus Education’s Supporting Student Wellbeing in Independent Schools conference will address issues with both pupils and staff

Optimus Education’s Supporting Student Wellbeing in Independent Schools conference is in its second year. It is aimed to assist independent pastoral staff with embedding a whole school approach to wellbeing, which provides positive and proactive support to pupils and staff. Taking place on 30 April 2019 at ETC Venues, Victoria, this conference is the stand-out wellbeing event for independent schools and is one not to miss.

According to the latest figures, ‘90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the number of pupils experiencing anxiety or stress over the past five years’ (Young Minds, 2018). As such, independent school pastoral staff are having to think outside the box when devising strategies to deal with the increasing rise in cases of pupils requiring support with their mental health.

The conference will have a lead keynote on creating an effective mental health strategy, as well as sessions led by pastoral leads and trainers on eating disorders, self-harm and suicide. By attending this conference, you will be able to remove the stigmas that are attached to mental health, as well as encourage open discussion and manage the challenges of strained services.

Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable and happy. This is easier said than done. Young people are showing anxiety, low mood and poor self-esteem in the wake of pressures which come from being a 21st-century child. The research for the conference showed that for independent school pastoral leads, pressure was the biggest challenge facing their students.

You cannot fill someone else’s glass when yours is empty and Optimus Education’s conference will also have a keynote addressing the wellbeing needs of your staff, led by the Anna Freud National Centre

Sarah Griffiths, deputy headteacher at Caterham School, who has long been an advocate of wellbeing programmes in independent schools, will not only be chairing the day, but also delivering the main keynote on pressures. This will cover how to implement a programme that supports students facing pressures from exams, parents and a virtual pressure to fit in.

In addition to the main keynote, there will be sessions available to delegates that will help in the handling of anxiety, online safety and parents.

The conference session will teach you positive coping mechanisms and build resilience to overcome school pressures and keep pupil wellbeing a priority.

It is important not to forget that in order to deliver a wellbeing programme that proactively supports students, school staff also need to be feeling at their best.

You cannot fill someone else’s glass when yours is empty and Optimus Education’s conference will also have a keynote addressing the wellbeing needs of your staff, led by the Anna Freud National Centre. The keynote will offer practical and time-efficient ways to manage staff wellbeing, which will improve whole school outcomes.

The Supporting Student Wellbeing in Independent Schools conference is a one-stop shop for solving wellbeing matters in independent schools. It is the opportunity to hear fantastic speakers and network with fellow schools.

Not-to-miss speakers at this year’s event include TES Award nominee Helen Keevil from Epsom College, mental health and safeguarding expert Oliver Welsby, as well as Sarah Kessling who leads training at mental health charity Harmless. The conference will allow you to access Optimus’ knowledge bank of resources for you to take away and share across your school to build staff confidence

Make sure you attend to give your independent school the opportunity to explore new ways to support your staff and students’ wellbeing, develop positive learning and improve overall outcomes for your whole school.

For more information about attending the conference, prices or to see a brochure please visit oego.co/IndWellbeing