Supporting Adolescent Mental Health and Wellness at NAISR
2019-12-16 | By Danielle Mashon and Tenley Elliott
A growing body of research is placing mental health and well-being at the centre of an integrated approach to adolescent health. At the Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam (NAISR) a critical question has arisen: How do we ensure mental health and well-being forms a key part of our approach to adolescent health and wellness?
Firstly, our school has increased the offering of our middle years programme to include two extra lessons; a ‘service learning lesson’ where students engage with community-based organisations, and a daily 20 minute ‘homeroom’ class. In addition, important topics such as healthy eating, active lifestyle, friendships and healthy relationships form Health, Advisory and Physical Education (HAPE) classes where our students discuss international topics, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals or what it means to be a Global Citizen. These lessons are an important time for students and teachers to create trusting relationships, built on mutual respect.
To further improve our programme, strengthen our alignment as a Nord Anglia Education school, ensure our school’s Core Values form the basis of all learning, and approach adolescent mental health and well-being in an integrated, holistic way, NAISR conducted a second strategic curriculum review and identified the following next steps:
- Ensure learning around mental health and well-being forms part of our comprehensive safeguarding practices.
- Encourage collaborative integration of health specialists in all learning settings (i.e. nurse, social-emotional coach, social worker, psychologist).
- Provide additional resources and training to our wider community about adolescent mental health and emotional well-being.
- Deliver school assemblies and whole-school initiatives to increase awareness and reduce stigma around mental illness and well-being.
- Strengthen our link to the International Middle Years Curriculum’s ‘5 Needs of the Adolescent Brain’.
At NAISR, we understand the importance of mental health and wellness on the learning and development of each child and we are excited to see the impact that our initiatives will have as our students continue to grow.
Please contact us to learn more about our school and how we support adolescent mental health and well-being.
Find out more