A TOWN school and its assistant headteacher were honoured at the House of Lords for their exemplary work in the field of mental health.
High Tunstall College of Science and Melanie Siddell, assistant headteacher at the school, were nominated for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Awards.
The school was named as one of the joint winners in the Youth MHFA category and staff were also celebrating when Mrs Siddell was named as a runner-up exemplary non-instructor. The school has been coaching staff on the importance of mental health and well-being since it sourced training from MHFA in 2008. Dozens of members of staff have now completed the course allowing them to offer appropriate support to students and staff and raise awareness of mental health issues.
Mrs Siddell, founder of the school’s well-being team, said: “I have seen a shift in terms of staff’s attitudes to their own well-being. They are much more willing to discuss mental health issues, to seek support and to further their own understanding of these issues.
“Most importantly, all staff look out for signs of mental illness in our students, knowing that there is a large team of trained staff with whom they can discuss their initial concerns and that we have a wide range of external agencies to draw upon for support.”