Mental Health and Wellbeing

Supporting young people to maintain good mental health and wellbeing is everyone's business at The Cowplain School.

At The Cowplain School we recognise that positive mental health and wellbeing are essential to the development of thriving and successful students. It is therefore vital to our aims, that as a school, we provide high quality mental health and wellbeing support, through bringing wellbeing back to basics using curriculum based and non-curriculum based interventions.

Mental Health and Wellbeing support at The Cowplain School is overseen by Miss Graham, Senior Mental Health Lead and School Psychologist.

The Six Steps to Wellbeing (Be Active, Keep Learning, Give, Connect, Take Notice, Care for the Planet)

In our vision, the concept of wellbeing comprises of two main elements: feeling good and functioning well. Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity, and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. Equally important for wellbeing is our functioning in the world. Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over one’s life and having a sense of purpose are all important attributes of wellbeing. When considering these elements, the six ways to wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions that promote wellbeing in everyday life. These will be promoted throughout the school, during reflection times and assemblies.

Wellbeing within the Curriculum

The school will commit to promoting physical health and mental wellbeing through in-classroom teaching. In addition to the basic steps students can take to care for themselves, teachers will put specific emphasis on the skills young people need to overcome setbacks and succeed within specific subjects.

The school’s RSHE curriculum will include lessons on mental health and wellbeing, as well as the importance of relationships. In addition to this, the curriculum is audited to ensure wellbeing topics are incorporated relevantly.

Assemblies and Reflection time

Each week students have one dedicated reflection time session that will focus on specific topics relevant to teenagers and their wellbeing. They will offer practical ways for students to use skills that enhance their mental health.

Internal Support

Support Groups: Anger Management, Anxiety and Bereavement groups run weekly for up to 40 minutes, for up to seven weeks and are grounded in the CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) approach. Referrals to these groups are made to the School Psychologist via the Head of Year.  

Resilience Centre: A social skills intervention is delivered weekly to selected students within our Resilience Centre. Activities are designed to help raise self-esteem, build a sense of self, and explore strategies to manage big emotions like anger and anxiety.

Mental Health and Wellbeing check in: Our centralised safeguarding system allows staff to raise concerns about students’ wellbeing.  These are triaged daily to determine the next course of action. Initially, this can be either a wellbeing check by the Head of Year, Assistant Head of Year or tutor. Following this, if necessary, a Mental Health check in by the School Psychologist.

1:1 Support: There can be up to nine students receiving 1:1 support at any time. These students receive targeted interventions to support aspects of their mental health. For example, raising self-esteem, psychoeducation, anxiety, and anger management. A student is usually placed on a 1:1 intervention if deemed appropriate following a Mental Health check in.  A 1:1 intervention will typically run for between 5-7 weeks and aims to equip students with strategies and tools to help them successfully navigate their own mental health.

EBSA (Emotionally Based School Avoidance) Unit: If a student’s attendance drops below 80% they are considered for the EBSA unit intervention. This is designed as a short-term intervention, usually 6 weeks, which seeks to see a persistent climb in attendance throughout this time.  Students are supported to address their anxiety within the unit’s nurturing environment. Workshops on managing emotion and emotional resilience are delivered weekly. Lessons can be accessed via livestream initially with lesson attendance continually encouraged.

Mental Health Ambassadors: There are 12 Mental Health Ambassadors across Years 8 – 11, who have applied and been successful at interview. Ambassadors offer a listening ear, peer support and signposting for any students struggling with their wellbeing. Training is delivered by the MHST, and the ambassadors are confident to support students around the school. Ambassadors wear a green badge to signify their role and may attend break times in other year groups, offering support.

Ambassadors meet with the School Psychologist each week to discuss new ventures and to access support and advice.

Wellbeing Break Room: The break room runs Mondays and Wednesdays 10.30am – 11.20am in the RSHE room. The break room offers a space for students to take part in some mindfulness activities, explore avenues of support, talk to a Mental Health Ambassador, or just have some quiet time. Any year group can attend during their break.

Drawing and Talking: Delivered by Ms Muirhead, this is a 1:1 intervention that runs over one term and allows students to discover and communicate emotions through a non-directed technique.

Challenging Behaviour and Mental Health: As they develop, adolescents will experience a range of emotions and express themselves in many ways. It’s normal for adolescents to be moody and to show some disrespect and defiance as they go through hormonal changes and a period of brain development during puberty. Adolescents may also be short-tempered as they naturally begin to seek privacy and independence. At school this behaviour requires consequence and the School Psychologist works with students to help them understand and accept this. This involves reflecting on incidents, exploring, and practising helpful coping strategies, restorative meetings with teachers and anger and anxiety management.

External Support

MHST (Mental Health Support Team): MHST are a branch of CAMHS that deliver evidence-based interventions for mild-to-moderate mental health issues. Anyone can refer but it is helpful if all referrals are reviewed by the School Psychologist before they are sent to ensure all relevant information is added and avoid delays in support being offered.

Meerkats Bereavement Support: Meerkats provide support with bereavement of death caused by cancer.

Kooth: Effective and personalised digital mental health care using tailored clinical models, communities and activities to support. Students are signposted to Kooth and can be given a Kooth information card.

CAMHS: Anyone can refer directly to CAMHS, a specialist service that aims to help young people aged 5 -18 years and their families who are finding it hard to manage their emotional and psychological health, and who are suffering with acute, chronic, and severe mental health problems. Students are signposted to the CAMHS website where there is lots of information and resources about mental health. If you would like more information, please visit the website to explore what they offer

If you wish to make enquiries about how we support Mental Health at The Cowplain School, please contact Miss Graham by email at  or telephone 023 9261 2020.





ChildLine - Free confidential service to help young people under 19 with any issue they are going through.

Helpline: 0800 1111


The Mix - The Mix’s Crisis Messenger text service is available 24/7 and open to anyone aged 25 or under living in the UK. If you are in crisis and need to talk, text THEMIX to 85258.

Webchat and Helpline service for free and confidential information and help on a wide range of issues for 13- to 25-year-olds including, sex and relationships, your body, mental health, drink and drugs, housing, money, work and study and crime and safety.

Helpline: 0800 808 4994


Bullying UK - Advice and support for parents/ careers dealing with bullying.

Helpline: 0808 800 2222


Young Minds Crisis Messenger

  • Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis
  • If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
  • All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors
  • Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
  • Parent Support: 0808 - 802 – 5544


Young Minds -


Samaritans -

  • If you're in distress and need support, you can ring Samaritans for free at any time of the day or night.
  • Freephone (UK and Republic of Ireland): 116 123 (24 hours)
  • Email:


Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide)


CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably)

  • Offers support to young men in the UK who are down or in a crisis.
  • Helpline: 0800 58 58 58 (Daily 17:00-midnight)
  • Webchat




Rehab4addiction: support for young people and parents of young people engaging with alcohol and substance use.