Student Wellbeing & Mental Health
Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our students is an integral part of the work we do at Tolworth Girls’ School. We pride ourselves on ensuring we take exceptional care of our students mentally, physically, and academically. We recognize that students are more than their academic achievement, and we recognise and value our students as unique individuals. Therefore, we aim to ensure that every student feels cared for and looked after so they are happy to attend school and feel free to be themselves. We offer a wide range of support options for students, tailored around individual need, which has made our approach towards student wellbeing an award winning success.
News & Current Events
Time to Talk Day - February 4, 2021
A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.
We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.
Time to Talk Day is the day that we get the nation talking about mental health. This year’s event might look a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health are more important than ever.
We need your help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – together we can end mental health stigma.
Time to Talk Day Podcasts - Have a listen to some conversations around mental health with Tolworth Staff!
Need some help with getting your Time To Talk Day conversations started? See the Talking Tips sheet below for some handy advice!
COVID-19 Pandemic – More than 80% affected
Impact of COVID-19 on people
The coronavirus has affected people in many different ways. The lives of many children and young people from across the UK have been turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most of them had to adjust to changes in their education (such as online schooling) or work.
Tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty. Many are unable to feed themselves and their families as they do not have a way to earn an income. Countries that were already dealing with other types of crisis and emergencies were especially exposed the effects of the coronavirus.
About 2,000 young people with mental health needs had to take part in a survey last year in June/July which was announced at the time the Government wanted to ease restrictions. They included the target to reopen all schools in the autumn term. About 80% of those that responded said that the COVID-19 pandemic made their mental health condition worse.
I had the opportunity to interview two of my classmates from Tolworth Girls’ School, London about the impact the lockdown is having on them. The students were Lily and Alexandria. In the interview, I got to understand how they felt about the lockdown and the impact it’s having on them.
When I asked Alexandria how she felt about not being able to go to school, she said “I don’t like not going to school because I enjoy seeing my friends and teachers”. However, Lily felt differently as she said, “I have enjoyed being at home because it has given me time to relax”.
Lockdown as affected people differently. Alexandria felt “more stressed and more anxious that something might happen to someone I love” while Lily felt “a bit bored and lonely at times”.
In addition, most pupils think that they are learning enough from online schooling, others don’t. While Alexandria thought “Yes because we do lots more writing and that can help us if there is a DMT”, Lily thought she has “learnt a lot but in school we did a lot more learning and I just think that it worked better in person”.
Many people thought that changes should be made to lockdown rules. Alexandria would have liked “if they could provide books for school because many of mine filled up quickly”. Others thought that the rules didn’t really affect them much as they could easily get books from the school. Conversely, Lily thought that “the government have made good choices with lockdown rules to keep everyone safe; however I do think that it would be better if they would keep the 6 person rule so me and my friends could be able to meet in a group”.
Are Vaccines the way forward?
Vaccines save millions of lives each year. They work by training the body’s immune system (body’s natural defences) to identify a specific virus or bacteria and then fight it off.
According to the NHS, the COVID-19 vaccine protects people against the coronavirus and is both safe and effective. Between 28th January and 11th February, deaths of over-80s decreased by about 53%. This new vaccine is currently being offered to people who are most at risk such as:
- People aged 60 and older
- People who are most vulnerable
- People who work/live in care homes
- Health care workers
If one is eligible to get the vaccine, they do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS before being able to book a vaccination appointment online. Just like the normal flu vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine is injected into the upper arm. After you get the vaccine, you still need to continue to follow the social distancing and other guidelines put in place by the government as it is possible to still get or spread the virus.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on many people both young and old. Once the current situation starts to improve, then more people would be able to continue with their daily lives. The government says that there is still a slight chance that people could spread or even catch the coronavirus even after having the vaccine so it’s encouraged that you continue to follow the guidelines put in place.
World Health Organization (2020) Impact of COVID-19 on people's livelihoods, their health and our food systems Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/13-10-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-people's-livelihoods-their-health-and-our-food-systems (Accessed 15 February 2021)
Young Minds (2021) Coronavirus: Impact on Young People with Mental Health Needs Available at: https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/ (Accessed 16 February 2021)
NHS (2021) Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/ (Accessed 16 February 2021)
World Health Organization (2021) COVID-19 vaccines Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/13-10-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-people's-livelihoods-their-health-and-our-food-systems (Accessed 17 February 2021)
BBC News (2021) Covid: How will we know if the vaccine is working? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56072684 (Accessed 8 March 2021)
London Gov. When someone has had the COVID-19 vaccine, do they need to keep following the health guidance and rules? Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19-faqs/when-someone-has-had-covid-19-vaccine-do-they-need-keep-following-health-guidance-and-rules (Accessed 9 March 2021)
123RF (2021) Stock Photo - Child and internet. Teenager on sofa with laptop, kid in headphones lying on sofa indoors. Relax time Available at: https://www.123rf.com/photo_78290141_child-and-internet-teenager-on-sofa-with-laptop-kid-in-headphones-lying-on-sofa-indoors-relax-time.html (Accessed 10 March 2021)