Bellevue supports teacher and pupil wellbeing with group training for Mental Health Awareness Week
Marking Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Bellevue Education teamed up with Dr Kiran Nijabat, child and adolescent psychiatrist and founder of the Family Wellness Practice, to deliver a groupwide training on managing the return to school and anxiety post-lockdown.
During the training session delivered virtually, teachers and heads across the Bellevue Education Group, a group of 21 schools based across the UK and Europe, received insights from Dr Kiran to support theirs and their pupils’ wellbeing.
Dr Kiran Nijabat MBBS, BSc, MRCPsych is the Director of the Family Wellness Practice, which offers bespoke continuing professional development promoting and developing understanding of mental wellbeing. The practice’s clients include schools, nurseries and care environments.
As part of the session, teachers were encouraged to reflect in virtual breakout rooms on their schools’ collective wellbeing, and the impact the pandemic has had on their pupils’ mental health. Dr Kiran then offered the group guidance on key warning signs of anxiety to spot in children, how best to manage the ongoing transition to back to in-class learning, including practical strategies; and how to protect their own mental health.
‘As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health professionals are now anticipating a pandemic of mental health problems,’ Dr Kiran commented. ‘My team and I partner closely with schools to work with professionals in education, teachers and staff, to promote mental health awareness, particularly to those who do not yet feel equipped to manage the distress that so many young people are experiencing.’
Headteacher of Edenhurst Preparatory School, Michael Hibbert, who attended the session, commented:
‘Never before has the mental health of our children and teachers been more important to look after. This was a great session delivered by Dr Kiran to Bellevue Education schools to help us support staff and students. Honest, open discussion backed up with a useful toolkit of tried and tested strategies.’
Further feedback from staff included praise for the tips and strategies provided, such as ways of re-framing negative thoughts; and the value of connecting with other teachers across the group, sharing in each other’s experiences of supporting pupils with anxiety.
Bellevue Education Director Sam Selby added:
‘We were so grateful to have Dr Kiran join us. Protecting the wellbeing of pupils and staff across the group has to be paramount, now more than ever, and Dr Kiran’s webinar was extremely useful in supporting our staff in both recognising the signs and the practical strategies for supporting both their own and their pupils’ wellbeing post-pandemic.
‘Collaboration and opportunity are two of Bellevue’s values, and from the feedback, we’ve seen that bringing our teachers together in this way to experience such an important webinar was extremely valuable.’
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