Every year the World Federation for Mental Health promotes World Mental Health Day, a day devoted to education and advocacy regarding mental health issues and awareness. It is designed to be a time to recognise the distance we have come in dealing with mental health issues as well as look at the issues we currently face, with each year tackling a different theme.
This year, on October the 10th, World Mental Health Day 2021 will have the theme of Mental Health in an Unequal World.
Mental Health in an Unequal World
In an increasingly polarised world, mental health can be impacted by many different sources. World Mental Health Day 2021 aims to raise awareness of the issues that can cause mental health problems that arise from inequality and polarisation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the effects of inequality on health, mental and physical. It is this ongoing global event that has encouraged the World Federation for Mental Health to choose Mental Health in an Unequal World as this year’s theme, recognising the challenges that we all still face in tackling mental health issues.
As always, this year’s day focuses on breaking down barriers regarding mental health issues. From raising awareness of different mental health challenges, combating the stigma surrounding mental health to encouraging researchers to share what they know about mental health inequality, this day is the perfect way to reflect on what we can all do to help.
For more information about this year’s theme, head over to the World Mental Health Day website.
How the GDST Supports Wellbeing in Schools
At the GDST we are committed to ensuring that our schools are where girls learn without limits. This means we make a point of tackling any issues that might prevent our girls from fulfilling their potential, including any wellbeing or mental health issues.
Olivia Dixon, Head of PSHE and Pastoral School Consultant Teacher at Nottingham Girls’ High School, wrote last year about why ‘wellbeing’ mustn’t just be a buzzword and what we’re doing in the GDST to promote wellbeing in schools.
One such example of how we have helped our students with their mental health and wellbeing is through working with the Positive Schools Programme. Throughout lockdown, we held webinars to support our students, staff, and parents and ran Positive courses online to help promote wellbeing and offer pastoral care throughout this difficult period.
Our schools have also made commitments to promoting wellbeing in schools and mental health. Here are some of the ways our schools have promoted wellbeing.
The GDST also makes sure that wherever it’s required, support is made available. Writing in November of 2020, Carole Hall, Head of Careers at Sheffield Girls’, Former GDST Trust Consultant for Progression to Higher Education, wrote about the support we offer university students with physical or mental health conditions. This guide not only showcases what we do to help students facing university who may need a little extra support but acts as a series of tips to make sure that students are prepared when seeking said support.
Learn more about Pastoral Care
The Girls’ Day School Trust believes in promoting a holistic view of education. Education doesn’t start or end in the classroom or as a series of final grades on an exam paper. Instead, education covers many other areas, such as emotional and mental wellbeing.
We ensure that our GDST girls receive the pastoral care they need to develop into fully rounded individuals with bright futures. By fostering an encouraging atmosphere in every classroom in our 25 schools along with ensuring all students can speak to teachers about the issues they may be facing, we build pastoral care into every aspect of our teaching.
The GDST has dedicated pastoral staff on hand who are placed to offer support to our students, no matter the background the student is from or the issues they’re facing. In addition, we have put in place mentoring systems to give our girls an outlet for concerns if they don’t feel comfortable going to a teacher.
All our staff is highly trained in offering pastoral care and handle issues with sensitivity and competence, making sure that GDST girls are fully supported as they learn, grow, and flourish.
Learn more here about the GDST and pastoral care and learn why the Girls’ Day School Trust is proud to help promote wellbeing in all its schools.