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Mental Health & Wellbeing

Why is this important and how does it link to our values?

Young people can speak to anybody in the academy if they are concerned about their, or a friend's, mental health and emotional wellbeing.  However, we have several staff with specific training in this area.

Mental Health and well being is everyone's business, with genuine engagement across our entire community: staff, students, governors, parents and external services. At OSCA we work tirelessly to ensure that all of our students receive the support that they need to achieve their full potential.  Positive mental health and high levels of emotional wellbeing are essential to this. 

One of our core values is compassion, by compassion we mean that everyone is willing to support, feels supported and puts mental well-being at the heart of all we do

Our approach involves multiple components including early identification and intervention through our mentoring and counselling services; our staff wellbeing charter, our use of internal and external professionals. Above all at OSCA we have a positive and universal focus on wellbeing where everyone is always caring and respectful of and to others with a strong commitment to do what is right

At OSCA we want young people to know that mental ill health is a part of life in just the same way as physical ill health, that it’s OK to talk about and it’s OK to ask for help. Our aim is to create a mentally healthy, supportive environment with a culture where talking about feelings is the norm, and stigma associated with mental health is reduced.


Mental health is about being in a state of mind that allows you to rationally make decisions and interact in a normal fashion with others in society. Common features of mental health include memory, the ability to process information and deductive reasoning skills.  Emotional well-being is closely linked to mental health, as they are both affected primarily by the human mind. The difference is, whilst mental health is more to do with rational decision-making, emotional health is more to do your mood and behaviour, for example, your self-esteem and self-confidence.

In supporting young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing, we believe in:

  • Creating positive and friendly environments
  • Being vigilant and observant -  able to spot the warning signs
  • Taking time to listen to students in a non-judgemental way
  • Being sensitive to their needs
  • Signposting them to help (professional if required) and support
  • Encouraging them to use self-help strategies
  • Creating opportunities for learning about mental health and wellbeing - assemblies, L4S and the wider curriculum

At OSCA we are determined to create a future where we all know how to look after our own mental wellbeing, so preventable issues don’t arise in the first place. A future where every young person and every colleague has access to support if they need it. This links to our value of opportunity where “is enabled to grow as an individual through tailored support, advice and guidance”

Why have a whole academy approach?

  • Improved student wellbeing
  • Improved staff wellbeing and retention
  • Improved academic learning
  • Improving OSCA’s overall effectiveness
  • Development of social and emotional skills
  • Prevention of mental health problems
  • Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health covers aspects of:
  • Behaviour
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Mental Health
  • Anti Bullying
  • LGBTQ+
  • Evidence based targeted and specialist work with students


How does it work? Key information/structure

At OSCA we have a number of trained mentors, designated specialist services accessible via our house system where referrals can be made to get everyone support and help when they need it. Issues around mental health are discussed within our PSHE curriculum, through assemblies. We have two dedicated hubs SPACE & BASE, where programmes of differing lengths are designed to support all aspects of mental health.


What do I need to do? How can I find out more?

If you need to talk to someone about mental health or wellbeing we have members of staff who are specifically trained in Mental Health and Wellbeing First Aid =


Five members of staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid:

Mr M. Sorby = Assistant Principal and Mental Health Lead
Mrs G. Garner = Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs L. Bowater = SPACE Mentor
Mrs P. Kaur = SPACE Mentor
Miss B. Corbett = Assistant Curriculum Leader - English

Alongside this you can talk to your Head/Assistant Head of House or your tutor. Other staff who are experienced in this area include Mr Morgan (Senior Vice Principal) and Mrs Dickens (SENDCo).

The most important thing is to ask for help – it is ok not to be ok.


Further advice, support and guidance can be found at:


Sandwell CAMHS

NHS Moodzone

Young Minds

BEAM Sandwell


The Samaritans


Midland Parent Support Group: Self Harm

Midland Suicide Bereavement Support Group