A Cyprus-based private school has become the first on the island to be awarded the prestigious Carnegie school mental health award.
Among more than 1,000 UK schools that signed up to take part in the mental health award, the Junior & Senior School is the first school in Cyprus to be accredited as a Carnegie School of Excellence for Mental Health.
The Junior & Senior School’s achievements in supporting the whole school community’s mental health have been acknowledged with this prestigious award, which aims to support schools to improve the health and wellbeing of their pupils and staff. It also aims to improve outcomes for pupils and improve the recruitment and retention of staff across all areas of the school.
The School Mental Health Award is also an assessment tool to evaluate current practices and initiatives within schools and give structure to the development plan for improvements in mental health.
A working party including management, school psychologists, HR, SENCO and staff, has worked hard for one year improving practices, organising training, disseminating information, collecting evidence and making sure that mental health is on the agenda of every weekly meeting in order to be able to qualify for this prestigious and demanding award.
The eight competencies that are covered in the award are leadership and strategy, organisational structure and culture for staff and pupils, support for staff and pupils, professional development and learning as well as working with parents and carers and external services.
The Junior & Senior School provides a wide range of activities to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, including mindfulness sessions for students, peer mentoring, mindfulness room and training for staff and the positive discipline philosophy.
A focal point of the school’s mental health and wellbeing provision is an openness to discuss mental health and to provide students and staff with resilience and support.
“Good mental health and wellbeing in schools can best be realised through a whole school positive culture alongside specific, targeted actions and practices. Evidence shows that education and health are closely linked,” the school said.