This summer, St Bonaventure’s achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools and awarded the Gold standard for our outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

Here is the press release explaining a bit more about the award.

It was recognised that St Bonaventure’s provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including wellbeing sessions and conscious raising assemblies for students, and a comprehensive support package for staff which promotes positive mental health. Pupil voice is utilised to ensure that tailored support is provided to students. As a faith school, they recognise the central role religion plays in supporting the wellbeing of the school community. Opportunities for personal reflection are built into the school day, alongside the spiritual support provided by the school chaplain.

Professional development around mental health has been given high priority and investment by St Bonaventure’s, who have worked closely with Headstart, CAMHS, Place2Be, Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society, and the Anna Freud Centre to provide tailored support to students, parents and staff.

St Bonaventure’s Headteacher, Christopher McCormack said: “I am extremely proud that our work has been recognised. Now, more than ever before, we need to have positive and proactive strategies in place to be able to support the young people in our care, as well as our staff and help them in every way we can. Achieving this gold standard is testament to the work that is being carried out in St Bonaventure’s to help promote positive wellbeing and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.”

A focal point of the school’s mental health and wellbeing provision is promoting positive mental health and providing students with opportunities to discuss their mental health. Michelle Roddy, the school’s mental health lead said: “We have worked closely with Imperial College’s ‘Open Minds – a student led organisation who provide interactive workshops on mental health which aim to increase awareness, reduce stigma and improve help-seeking behaviours. We also celebrate our school community through initiatives such as International Women’s Day and Community Appreciation Days which enable pupils to recognise the importance of gratitude and its positive impact on their wellbeing and feelings.”

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.

The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK’s education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children.
“We’re truly proud to have worked with St Bonaventure’s in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.
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 St Bonaventure’s and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”