Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy

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Student Mental Health & Wellbeing - Policy HS32

V01: Published May 2021 Date for review: April 2023


Policy statement


Policy Scope


Policy Aims


Whole School Approach to Promoting Good Mental Health


Key Staff Members


Teaching about Mental Health and Wellbeing


Warning Signs


Managing Disclosures/Concerns


Confidentiality and Information Sharing




Support Available within School


Support External to the School


Student Absence & Reintegration to School


Working with Parents and Guardians


Supporting Peers




Appendix A: Lower School Year-Group Specific Support




Policy Review

Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy



“Mental health is 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.” World Health Organisation 2004 At Harrow International School Bangkok we recognise our duty of care to support the mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) of our students as part of our commitment to ensuring Bangkok Harrovians flourish at school and beyond. We: ❏ Know that everyone experiences different life challenges and that each of us may need help to cope with them sometimes. ❏ Understand that anyone and everyone can need additional emotional support at times. ❏ Encourage openness; we want each student to have their voice heard. ❏ Acknowledge that we all have a role to play; positive mental health is everybody’s responsibility. It must be highlighted here that we are also committed to seeking ways to continually improve our practice. The School Strategy 2021 sets out a framework outlining how it will achieve its vision of becoming world class. To be able to deliver on this, one of the goals is to: ‘Develop students as high performance learners and ensure their wellbeing’ In order to achieve this goal, significance is given to the fact that we need to: ‘Enhance our pastoral care system through the development of a wellbeing framework that draws on clinical expertise and global best practice’ The creation of this policy is one of many steps being taken towards the School developing such a wellbeing framework to ensure that students receive the right support when they need it, even before they need it; a truly proactive approach. There is always more we can do.



This policy is intended as guidance for all staff, including teachers, non-teaching staff and governors. It should be read in conjunction with the following School policies and protocols: POLICY


Safeguarding Policy

Students with poor mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) are often vulnerable and may have safeguarding needs.

Counselling Service Policy

Students with MHWB issues may require this service.

Anti-bullying policy (LS) Anti-bullying policy (US)

Bullying can affect MHWB.

Diversity and Inclusion

Students with MHWB issues may be at risk of exclusion because of their underlying social, emotional and mental

Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

health concerns. Drug and substance abuse (pupils)

Students with MHWB issues may be involved in substance abuse.

Learning and Individual Needs (US)

Students with learning needs (including speech, language and communication needs/language barriers/neurodevelopmental disorders) have a higher chance of developing MHWB issues.

Behaviour Management (LS) Behaviour Management (US)

Students with MHWB issues may demonstrate challenging behaviour.

Mobile device use across campus

Social media can play a significant role in students’ MHWB.

US = Upper School LS = Lower School



This policy aims to demonstrate and document how we intend to: Promote ❏ Positive mental health and emotional wellbeing for every member of our student body. ❏ Awareness, understanding and recognition of common mental health issues. ❏ Destigmatisation by creating an environment/climate in which students feel confident to share any concerns they may have. Enable ❏ Staff to understand how and when to access support when working with young people with mental health and wellbeing issues. ❏ Early response/intervention for these issues. ❏ Students to engage with open discussion about their mental health concerns. Provide ❏ Appropriate support to students with mental health issues, signposting them and their parents/guardians for further support when necessary. ❏ Support and guidance to staff working with students with mental health issues. It also aims to aid consistency of approach and equality of provision for all students.



Our view is that a whole School approach is vital in attempts to tackle mental health issues, promote good mental health and wellbeing and remove stigma. Work is therefore undertaken universally across the School community in the following ways: ❏ Taking a collaborative approach towards supporting students which includes students, staff, parents/guardians and external specialists. ❏ Multi-layering the pastoral management structure across Lower and Upper School as well as in the Boarding Houses. The structure also includes the School Health Centre Nursing Staff, Learning Needs and Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏


Inclusion Teams, School Wellbeing Lead and School Counsellors. All strive to demonstrate that each student is valued, known and listened to. Conducting surveys throughout the year to inform the School’s pastoral priorities. Prioritising regular pastoral meetings and case conferences to oversee students with emergent as well as existing wellbeing and safeguarding needs. Providing PSHE Education on a range of personal, social and health-related issues. Facilitating programmes of peer support across the school. Encouraging philanthropic work and community engagement to encourage reflection and build confidence. Providing appropriate training on mental health in children and young people to all staff. Delivering parent workshops which brief on topics relating to mental health and wellbeing.


All staff members take responsibility for promoting the mental health and wellbeing of our students however key members of staff have specific wellbeing/pastoral/safeguarding roles to play. See Safeguarding Policy Appendix 2 for the pastoral and safeguarding teams for the current year.



The personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum at Harrow Bangkok has been developed to give students the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to help keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. This is not only for whilst students are here in School but also in preparation for the world beyond. Curriculum and lesson content are determined by the specific needs of the cohort being taught; these are regularly reviewed to ensure relevance and appropriateness. LOWER SCHOOL With a strong focus on personal, social and emotional development within the Early Years, the approach to learning supports children in developing a positive and respectful sense of themselves and others. They are taught and supported in how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour and to have confidence in their own abilities. Key elements to High Performance Learning (HPL) are established at this early stage, with children being taught the importance of a growth-mindset and resilience, all laying the foundations for key personal development as they move through the Lower School. Pre-prep builds upon these core elements by further teaching about emotional wellbeing. It supports the student’s understanding of their own and others’ emotions and the development of healthy coping strategies. It also contributes to safeguarding, providing pupils with knowledge, understanding and strategies to keep themselves healthy and safe, as well as equipping them to support others who are facing challenges. UPPER SCHOOL GRIT (Growth, Relationships, Identity, Tenacity) is a bespoke personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum programme introduced at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. It runs from Year 6 to Year 13 and the general emphasis is on developing emotional, physical, social and mental wellbeing. Sessions are age and culturally relevant whilst ensuring similar exposure to PSHE topics, themes and concepts as students around the world.Each session explores one of the GRIT themes and the effects on life inside and outside school. In line with HPL best practice, sessions are enquiry based with engaging small stimulus activities, have the 3 R’s embedded - Retrieval, Reflect and Review, and are designed to develop thinking and performing skills. Year 12 and Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

13 students feed into the programme by identifying topics relevant to them and evaluating existing sessions to guide future planning and delivery. The Sex and drug education portion of the Futures Programme is created and delivered by our School Counsellors.



Staff with day to day contact with students are likely to be best placed to spot any changes in presentation or behaviour which may indicate that a student is experiencing issues with their mental health or wellbeing. Listed below are some possible examples of warning signs of such potential issues. This list is not comprehensive but gives a small insight into examples of way these issues may be expressed: Changes in eating / sleeping habits / energy levels Increased isolation from friends and/or family, and becoming socially withdrawn Changes in mood or activity levels Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or hopelessness Secretive behaviour Clothing incongruent with the weather, e.g. long sleeves in warmer temperatures Skipping PE or getting changed secretively New/an increase in lateness to or absence from school Decline in educational achievement and changes in attitude towards education Repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause e.g. headaches, tummy aches Refusal to, or attempts to delay, return home Negative behaviour patterns e.g. disruption, destruction, risk-taking, frequent expressions of anger/irritability Physical signs of harm that are repeated or appear non-accidental Drug and alcohol abuse Talking or joking about self-harm or suicide Deliberate self harm Belief that the mind is controlled or out of control/hears voices Further resources relating to child mental health and wellbeing can be found within the Student Wellbeing Hub on the online Staff Portal Learning and Leadership Hub.



The School may become aware of concerns over a pupil’s mental health and wellbeing in a number of ways. All staff need to know how to respond appropriately to a disclosure or concern and must follow the guidance in Section 2 of the School’s Safeguarding Policy. Once a disclosure is made or concern raised, further appropriate action will be determined by an assessment of risk (to self, to others, from others) and may include any of the following: ❏ Immediate action to safeguard a student’s emotional safety by following the school’s normal safeguarding procedures. ❏ Immediate action to follow the normal procedures for medical emergencies including alerting the Health Centre and contacting the emergency services if necessary. ❏ Contacting staff involved in the student’s care for information. ❏ Contacting parents/guardians if appropriate. ❏ Arranging an appointment with a school counsellor. ❏ Recommending professional input external to the school, e.g. via therapist/psychiatrist. Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

❏ Giving advice to parents, staff and other students. ❏ Support for the friends/staff of the affected student, where appropriate. The agreed action will be discussed with the student (keeping explanations age appropriate) to develop a strategy to support them. If it is decided that support and/or intervention is required, the Pastoral Lead will work with the student and assign other key staff members to be involved as appropriate. The Pastoral Lead will ensure that: ❏ The student is monitored regularly and provided with opportunities to give feedback. ❏ Feedback is gathered from involved staff members and wider school staff as appropriate. ❏ Consideration is given as to whether further intervention within School (e.g. counselling) and/or external input should be sought.



The School will balance a student’s right to confidentiality against the School’s overarching duties to safeguard student’s health, safety and wellbeing and to protect students from suffering significant harm. We will be honest and open with regard to the issue of confidentiality: students should be made aware that it is not possible for staff to offer complete confidentiality in cases of their wellbeing. It is important not to make promises of confidentiality that cannot be kept even if a student puts pressure on a staff member to do so. If it is necessary for a Pastoral Leader to pass on concerns about a student, then this will first be discussed with the student. In an age appropriate way, they will be told: ❏ Who the Pastoral Leader is going to tell. ❏ What they are going to tell them. ❏ Why it is necessary to tell them. ❏ When the contact will be. We will reassure the student that we will only tell those whose job it is to protect children. Ideally, we would receive the student’s consent, however, there are certain situations when information must always be shared with another member(s) of staff, parents, or even medical professionals: ❏ It may not be possible to gain the student’s consent first, such as in the case of students who are at immediate/imminent risk. Protecting a student’s safety is our main priority so we would share disclosures if we judged a student to be at this particular level of risk. ❏ A student may withhold consent but the School considers it necessary and proportionate to the need and level of risk such that information be shared with other staff/parents/medical professionals on a need to know basis. Appropriate and timely sharing of information offers the additional benefits to staff of: ❏ Safeguarding their own emotional wellbeing due to no longer being solely responsible for that information. ❏ Providing extra sources of ideas and support. ❏ Ensuring continuity of care in their absence.


Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

We will work to ensure that all staff, students, parents and guardians are aware of the sources of support within School. Information will be provided on the School Website, School Newsletters and on notice boards/video displays around the School. We regularly highlight sources of support to students within relevant parts of the curriculum and in other presentations and assemblies. By highlighting sources of support, we hope to increase the chance of students seeking help.

11.0 SUPPORT AVAILABLE WITHIN SCHOOL We have a range of in-School proactive and reactive supports available to students as listed below. LOWER SCHOOL The mainstay of a student’s welfare in the Lower School is their Class Teacher who has the benefit of seeing the students daily throughout the school week. They provide daily pastoral support along with the Teaching Assistants working with each class. Year Group Leaders and the Head of Lower School involvement will happen if needed. Support for students right across the Lower School occurs includes: ❏ The aforementioned PSHE lessons on a weekly basis and ensuring that the PSHE curriculum is at the centre of interactions and planning, delivered in an age appropriate fashion e.g. carpet sessions/circles times for pre-nursery and nursery. ❏ Continuous discussion about and modelling of emotions by Teachers; use of key language/phrases to support children’s understanding of emotions/behaviours etc. ❏ iRules that are displayed and referred to daily, children praised for using these in the classroom and in the playground. Reward stickers are shared as are reasons why - highlighting positives. ❏ Anti-bullying pledges are displayed in classrooms and corridors further up the school and referred to. ❏ Open communication regarding wellbeing with parents frequently and as necessary. ❏ Pastoral transition meetings between the current and next Class Teacher, supported by the Inclusion Team. ❏ Pastoral mentoring sessions run by the Inclusion Team. ❏ Further Lower School year-group-specific support is listed in 17.0 Appendix A. UPPER SCHOOL Upper School students will move about the school campus frequently throughout the day and will encounter multiple staff as a result. Ways in which they can access support in School include: ❏ Students meet with their Tutor Team within their tutor groups each morning. They can confidentially request private 1:1 conversations with each of these if they so wish via the Speak to Someone Form ❏ The Sixth Form Wellbeing Committee began with the 2020 academic year; run by Year 12 and 13 students, it meets weekly with the aim of educating and empowering the wider Sixth Form as a whole about matters of mental health and wellbeing, whilst destigmatising these. ❏ The Wellbeing While Away series was created by our School Counsellor Mr Stuart during the first pandemic-related school closure in 2020 and remains relevant. The series shares helpful information ranging from how to stay active and healthy to staying motivated and developing a growth mindset. WHOLE SCHOOL In terms of whole School provision, the following is available: ❏ Counselling Service ❏ The Counselling Service provides a confidential, safe, nurturing and personalised approach for students to explore difficulties they may encounter. It complements the pastoral support within the wider school community. Details about the Counselling Service and how to access it can be found via the Counselling Service Policy. Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

❏ Peer Support Program (PSP) ❏ The objective is to train Year 12 students as peer counsellors so that they can support other students across the school by listening, helping with homework and mediation. The program is run by the School Counsellors (supported by colleagues from across the school), lasts for seven weeks and covers an introduction to PSP, Rogerian techniques, listening skills and body language, helping with homework, reading with younger students, students with learning difficulties and mediation skills. Students who complete the program receive a certificate for their CV and are invited to an assembly celebration presentation. Peer support is offered across the school thereafter for the rest of the academic year. Several meetings occur at varying frequencies across the school to bring together relevant Pastoral and Safeguarding Leads together to discuss students with the highest level of needs in relation to their wellbeing. MEETING




Whole School Case Conference (WSCC)


The Whole School Case Conference Committee

Review of students posing the highest level of safeguarding/wellbeing concerns relating to risk or needs to decide on appropriate safeguarding actions.

Team Around the Child (TAC)

As required on an individual student basis

Relevant Pastoral & Safeguarding Leads

To keep relevant staff aware of individual students who are in crisis and share information to the wider teaching team as appropriate.

Whole School Counsellors Meeting


Counsellors & Wellbeing Lead

To discuss students posing the highest level of concern/risk/need within the counselling service and decide on further actions.

12.0 SUPPORT EXTERNAL TO THE SCHOOL Some students may require support beyond the realms of what the School can offer as it is not a specialist physical or mental health facility and at certain points, must rely upon external professionals for advice, guidance and treatment. There is a wealth of external specialist professional support available to students in Bangkok by means of Medical, Psychological and Psychiatric input. Each professional will have different areas of expertise and best fit will be based on individual need. The School Counsellors and Wellbeing Lead can advise and guide as to which and who may be best for supporting an individual student’s needs, signpost the student and their family and provide contact details to the Pastoral and Safeguarding Leads for liaison with the external support as necessary. On occasion, the School may have safety concerns about a student’s mental health and wellbeing and level of risk to themselves/others, sufficient to direct that they receive external assessment and support for their mental health and wellbeing. If this is the case, the School will require evidence that this has taken or is taking place. If time absent from School is required for this to take place, evidence determining fitness to return to School via a medical certificate will be required prior to any return.

13.0 STUDENT ABSENCE & REINTEGRATION TO SCHOOL Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

If a student requires any length of time out of school due to significant mental health or wellbeing issues, the School will be fully supportive of this. Appropriate arrangements will be made to send work home or where possible include a student in remote education. The school will follow the guidance of any therapists or psychiatric/medical professionals who may be treating a student. Every step will be taken in order to ensure a smooth reintegration back into School when a student who has been absent is considered to be ready to return. The school will undertake a school Return To School (RTS) meeting chaired by the relevant DSL with the key points captured on the student’s CPOMs record. An example of this document can be found here. This meeting must occur before the student can return to onsite education and any required medical certificates must be received in advance of any return. After an initial planning meeting, if there are any subsequent absences, the SPOC will ensure CPOMS is updated and any return will need permission which is sought from the relevant DSL on CPOMS before sanctioning a return. If required, a further return to school meeting will be set up by the DSL.

14.0 WORKING WITH PARENTS AND GUARDIANS Parents and guardians are often very welcoming of information from the School about supporting their children's mental health and wellbeing. We aim to offer our support to our parents as much as possible and therefore we will work towards: ❏ Highlighting sources of information and support about common mental health and wellbeing issues on our school website. ❏ Ensuring that parents and guardians are aware of who to talk to if they have any concerns about their child or a friend of their child, and how to go about this. ❏ Giving parents guidance about how they can support positive mental health in their children through regular workshops. ❏ Ensuring this policy is accessible to parents and guardians. ❏ Keeping parents and guardians informed about the mental health training our school staff receive and how mental health is covered in our school curriculum. If it is deemed appropriate to inform parents and guardians of a mental health issue concerning their child, we will be sensitive in our approach and as such will consider the following questions on an individual basis: ❏ Can the meeting happen face to face? This is preferable. ❏ Who should be present? Consider parents, guardians, the student and relevant members of staff. ❏ What are the aims of the meeting and the expected outcomes? We are mindful that for a parent or guardian, hearing about their child’s issues can be upsetting and distressing. They may therefore respond in various ways (anger, fear or upset) and find it hard to take much in. We should be prepared for this and allow time for the parent to reflect and come to terms with the situation and the news that is being shared. We will: ❏ Be accepting of this (within reason) and give the parent time to reflect. ❏ Share sources of further support aimed specifically at parents and guardians, e.g. the School website/appropriate online parent information. ❏ Always provide clear means of contacting us with further questions and consider booking in a follow-up meeting or phone call soon after a first discussion as parents and guardians may think of questions as they process the information. ❏ End each meeting with agreed next steps. Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

❏ In line with Section 2, Step 6 of the Safeguarding Policy, follow up significant pastoral or safeguarding conversations with parents/guardians with a brief summary email of points covered and agreed actions; a copy of that email will be placed on CPOMS as a record.

15.0 SUPPORTING PEERS It can be difficult for peers when a fellow student is suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues. In response to this, we will consider on a case by case basis, any peers that may need additional support. We will provide this either on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting and will include how peers can help, healthy ways of coping with any emotions they might be feeling and how peers can access support themselves.

16.0 TRAINING As part of our commitment to improving access to continuing professional development (CPD) we will ensure that staff receive regular training in child mental health and wellbeing issues so that they can recognise some common warning signs of mental health problems and respond appropriately by offering support and signposting to students who need it, when they need it. The Student Wellbeing Hub within the Learning and Leadership Hub of the School Portal hosts free resources for staff to access and learn about child mental health and wellbeing such as: ❏ Online training courses ❏ Useful articles, videos, links to websites ❏ Relevant UK Department for Education guidance and advice Training sessions for staff within whole School INSET sessions and throughout the year are planned to promote learning and understanding about specific issues related to mental health. We will consider additional training opportunities for certain pastoral staff members who require more in depth knowledge and support additional CPD throughout the year if and when it becomes appropriate due to developing situations with students.




Toddlers arrive at 18 months to an inclusive and holistic approach with wellbeing at the heart of all. The Key-Person Approach is used (the statutory framework for the early year’s foundation stage ‘setting the standards for learning, development, and care for children from birth to five’) which ensures the children are settled, confident and able to access the learning environment independently. Songs are regularly sung & signed to talk/teach about feelings (happy, sad, grumpy) - referring those emotions back to core texts that we are reading and interactions with friends - making this as practical as possible, and addressing opportunities to do this “in the moment” as they occur. Themes and topics that will interest and engage children are chosen. Children are observed closely and continuously, monitoring demeanor and levels of engagement.

Pre Nursery

Weekly; sing & sign songs about how we feel and talk/teach about “Our feelings”, referring those emotions back to core texts that are being read within class and interactions with friends - making this as practical as possible, and addressing opportunities to do this “In the moment” as they occur. Use of topic/stories to support understanding of wellbeing elements.

Nursery Reception

Weekly/termly; use of topic/stories to support understanding of well-being elements. In addition to the PSHE curriculum, activities such as a relaxation/mindfulness exercise, a thinking Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

routine, moody monsters chart and complimenting each other at the end of each session are utilised. As are ieas from The Resilience Project are used, e.g. ‘What are we happy about/grateful for at the end of the day?’ Children of note are discussed during weekly briefings. Year 1

Buddying up of new children or those who are finding playtimes difficult occurs.

Year 2

Learning about the Brain in Science takes place with a focus in a few lessons being on ‘how to look after our brain’ and wellbeing. Discussion about wellbeing is linked in to the curriculum, e.g. how certain activities can be used to support our well being. Language based around emotions and physical reactions that emotions can trigger is used daily to help children to recognise these feelings.

Year 3

Children are taught about feeling and emotions in an age appropriate way - including specific vocabulary. They are encouraged by teachers daily to share their feelings. The best, worst and most challenging part of each day is looked at. Story times are focused on key themes that the classes need, e. g, resilience, dealing with friendships, gratitude, mindfulness etc.

Year 4

Core texts have been adapted for English units to avoid certain children’s triggers. Guided meditations are used in lessons. Books/ stories/poems used to address concerns within each class. PSHE lesson on self love during Valentines week.

Year 5

GEM - Resilience Project App purchased by all Year 5 students to support wellbeing at home and in school. Gratitude Tree as a corridor display. Wellbeing Googleclassroom set up in each class with access to meditation, empathy and gratitude activities.


Student Leadership

1:1 Pastoral sessions. Social skills sessions (not specifically targeted but may aid with overall wellbeing) Transitions for specific students. 1-1 support for excursions e.g. expedition. Play Leaders trained to support younger students in the playground. Global Leaders- healthy living initiative- focusing on improving diet, exercise and mental well being of all children in school. School Council meets regularly to discuss student concerns or suggestions. Student Suggestion boxes in all classrooms.

18.0 REFERENCES ❏ Public Health England: Promoting children and young people's emotional health and wellbeing: a whole school and college approach, 2021. ❏ Department for Education: Mental health and behaviour in schools, 2018.

19.0 POLICY REVIEW This policy will be reviewed every year. This is so that it remains up to date, useful, and relevant. In between reviews, the policy will be updated when necessary to reflect significant changes across the school etc. Any personnel changes will be implemented immediately. The most up to date version of this policy at any given

Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

point can be found in the Official Documents Catalogue which is within the School Policies section of the Staff Portal. Policy:

Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy

Original held here:


Dr K. Adjei (School Wellbeing Lead)

Authorisation by:

Board of Governors

Authorisation Date:


Frequency of Review:


Notice Date:

March 2022

Review Due By:

April 2023

Reviewer to enter initials and date for updates pre-review:

KAD 05/21; KAD 08/2; KAD 29.4.22. PDH 21.8.22

Harrow International School Bangkok Student Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy