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Gunnersbury Catholic School

Wellbeing and Mental Health

"Gunnersbury Catholic School is a thriving, vibrant and caring learning community within which pupils are stretched intellectually and foster a love of learning, whilst feeling valued, happy and safe" (OFSTED)


Wellbeing and Mental Health

At Gunnersbury Catholic School we understand that our students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing are critical elements of their lives; providing the foundations upon which their present is located and their futures are built. Our approach prioritises Gunnersbury students’ mental health and wellbeing, seeking to enable each student to be happy and to succeed in all aspects of their being. The high quality teaching and learning that our students experience is only possible through our establishment of such an environment.  All aspects of mental health at Gunnersbury are overseen by our mental health lead, Mr Baker.  Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact him:

What is mental health?

Mental Health - “is a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” - World Health Organisation

What is mental and emotional wellbeing?

The Wellbeing expert Sarah Stewart-Brown, University of Warwick Professor of Public Health, explains:

“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self esteem and self-confidence are, too. So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do, and so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you."

Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.

“It can help to think about ‘being well’ as something you do, rather than something you are. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out. No-one can give wellbeing to you. It’s you who has to take action.”

Gunnersbury Catholic School strives to support each student with their emotional health and wellbeing. This includes promoting positive mental health. As a staff body we approach this in various ways, including through our safeguarding team, pastoral team, tutor time, PSHE lessons and external visitors. We also work in partnership with Hounslow Youth Counselling Service, our Education Wellbeing Practitioner and our local MIND Charity.

The teenage years are both exciting and challenging for parents and carers. It can be hard to know whether a teenager's feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem.

For any student who may be experiencing poor mental health we have qualified Mental Health First Aiders along with our safeguarding team who are available to listen, offer advice, mentor or signpost parents/students to agencies who can offer guidance. Furthermore students seeking help can also do so through our dedicated student support email account:


Organisations Providing Support To Parents And Children.

Telephone: 0800 1111

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything - no problem is too big or too small.

Mind Info Line
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or text 86463

Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental health problems, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind works in partnership with around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.

Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)

Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families
Anna Freud Centre's child mental health experts have written a leaflet to provide simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their child's feelings part of everyday life.
Talking mental health with young people at secondary school: Some advice for parents booklet

Self Harm UK
A website dedicated to self harm recovery, insight and support.

Self Harm Guidance for Parents/Carers
NSPCC Self Harm Guidance

Self-harm describes any behaviour where a young person causes harm to themselves in order to cope with thoughts, feelings or experiences they are not able to manage in any other way. It most frequently takes the form of cutting, burning or non-lethal overdoses in adolescents, while younger children and young people with special needs are more likely to pick or scratch at wounds, pull out their hair or bang or bruise themselves.

Mental Health & Suicidal Thoughts
PAPYRUS ‘Hopeline UK’: 0800 068 4141
NSPCC Parents/Carers -
Young Mind Parents/Carers -

Young people may experience complicated thoughts and feelings about wanting to end their own lives. Some young people never act on these feelings though they may openly discuss and explore them, while other young people die suddenly from suicide apparently out of the blue.

A website with advice for young people who have been referred to CAHMS, or are interested in finding out about it

How To Help Your Child Beat Exam Stress

Obsessions & Compulsions

Obsessions describe intrusive thoughts or feelings that enter our minds which are disturbing or upsetting; compulsions are the behaviours we carry out in order to manage those thoughts or feelings. For example, a young person may be constantly worried that their house will burn down if they don’t turn off all switches before leaving the house. They may respond to these thoughts by repeatedly checking switches, perhaps returning home several times to do so. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can take many forms – it is not just about cleaning and checking.