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West Sussex School Scoops Pioneering Mental Health Award

West Sussex School Scoops Pioneering Mental Health Award

Slindon College, near Arundel, has achieved the School Mental Health Award, delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Slindon College was awarded a Silver standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Sotiria Vlahodimou, Headteacher at Slindon College, said: “We are delighted to receive this award and the recognition that goes with it for our hardworking team who are so very skilled and experienced at looking after our pupils’ mental fitness. Each pupil at Slindon College is supported and nurtured to ensure their personal development and all round wellbeing.”

Slindon College provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including weekly woodland walks, time to talk sessions, termly wellbeing focussed staff meetings and a range of events that support the college community’s mental fitness including the Slindon Memory Tree which encouraged pupils to reflect and journal their feelings in a safe space.

To achieve the Silver Standard Carnegie Award, a school’s mental health provision needs to be having an impact at a local and regional level. Slindon College’s SENCo has visited local primary schools to deliver sessions to pupils on mental fitness and share information with local Headteachers on how the College is helping to improve the mental fitness of staff.

Slindon College SENCo and Mental Fitness Lead, Adam Sharpe said: “The award process has helped us to recognise just how much we do to support the mental health of those in our College community. It provided an excellent framework to improve the ways we can monitor wellbeing and adapt the support we offer to our pupils. The award has also been a catalyst for the College to look beyond Slindon House and at how we can support other local settings to improve their mental health provision and share good practice.”

Sotiria Vlahodimou has written nationally published articles on aspects of education that directly impact mental health. She also led a workshop on engaging reluctant learners (with a focus on Mental Health) at Chichester University’s SEN conference 2023: Engaging Voices for Change in Inclusive Education.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

Rachel C. Boyle, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “The achievement of the Mental Health Award is a demonstration of the school’s significant commitment to improving children’s and staff’s mental health and wellbeing.”

Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

“It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Slindon College and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”

To find out more about Slindon College visit here


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