Written by Dr Laura Pugsley, Deputy Head (Pastoral)
As we enter the second year of the Wellbeing Centre’s existence, and building on Haileybury’s success in gaining the “Wellbeing Award for Schools” last year, it is exciting to see how the centre has evolved and how pupils and staff are using it to support their wellbeing.
Already this year we’ve seen a higher footfall to the Wellbeing Centre, with pupils enjoying the tranquillity of a space away from their school work and boarding houses, and somewhere to meet with friends and join activities and societies.
We have expanded the mental health support team, having been joined by Zoe Chaney, our new Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner. Zoe has a background as a mental health nursing associate and will be an additional layer of support for pupils who want advice or simply a listening ear. We are also delighted to welcome Jack De Saram to the Counselling Team this year.
Pupil voice remains central to what we offer in, and beyond, the Wellbeing Centre and this year’s Wellbeing College Prefects – Jack, Jessica, Piya and Charles – have already established some exciting plans for how they will oversee the Peer Support programme, and encourage proactive care for ourselves and others. Kindness, inclusion and enthusiasm were noted as core tenets of Haileybury life by the Heads of School recently, and this chimes with all that we are trying to achieve through the Wellbeing Centre.
We hope that all pupils and staff will see the Wellbeing Centre as their space, where they can find support from like-minded others, or simply some time to “just be”. From Pride Alliance to Islamic Society, staff book clubs to House nights, the Centre has something for everyone, and everyone is welcome.
“Our job as the Wellbeing College Prefects is to be mental health ambassadors across the school – promoting pupil wellbeing, and normalising conversations around mental and physical health to ensure that Haileybury is a tolerant, kind and inclusive school, which supports everyone’s needs. By leading the Peer Support team, and organising Mental Health week and various other activities, we aim to create an environment and community in which all people feel supported and confident in their own skin.
“As last year, the Wellbeing Centre will continue to be a place where societies, pupil gatherings and social events, alongside counselling, are held. We look forward to working with the Wellbeing Team, Peer Supporters and the Haileybury community to ensure that the School’s ethos and values are adhered to and that wellbeing continues to be a priority.” – The Wellbeing CPs