“Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself. Your attitude to mental health could change someone’s life.” (Time to Change )

10% of children and young people aged 5 to 16 suffer from a diagnosed mental health disorder (Office of National Statistics. Mental Health of children and young people in Great Britain. 2004)

These are just some of the facts that really hit home!  We at Ark Victoria Academy want all our pupils to have the best support and care available.  All our staff aim to ensure that we take care of the wellbeing and the academic achievements of our pupils.

In school we have  Student Support managers that are trained in the skills needed to listen and guide pupils that may need social, emotional or mental health support.

There are 2 post-boxes placed for pupils to post any concerns they may have within school. Pupils can find these in Oldknow library and outside the school nurse’s office in the Talbot Building. The  Student Support managers will deal with any concerns on a daily basis or signpost pupils and their families to appropriate  professionals who can support them.

The Student Support managers have an “open door” policy and one of them will be available at lunchtime and break time to listen or to talk to anyone that needs one to one support.

Mr Stead, Mr Curtis, Mr Mahon and Miss Foster are our Student support managers.

If you find that you need additional support outside of school hours, the following services may be of interest to you:

PAUSE Forward Thinking Birmingham

Pause is a free service; you don't need an appointment; you can simply drop in for a chat.

Whatever your reason, whether you're a little worried about something that's going on in your life or you just need some space to think, Pause is here for you. Drop in and talk to one of the team, learn a new technique for managing your emotions or simply browse our online self-help materials. Pause is run by a friendly team of therapists, youth workers and volunteers, who are always on hand to lend a listening ear.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am - 6pm, Wednesday: 12pm - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11am - 4pm    

21 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6BJ

The Hub of Hope

The Hub of Hope is the UK’s go-to mental health support signposting tool, with more than 1,800 local, regional, grassroots, and national services currently listed, and that number growing each day. More than just another mental health app, it is a gateway to recovery, where you can find readily available support near you. It includes a “Get Help Now” function which allows you to talk directly to Samaritans or access text message support via Crisis Text line. You can access the Hub of Hope FREE online or download for FREE from the App Store or Play Store. There is always help and there is ALWAYS hope.

MIND

MIND Birmingham has a useful list of Emergency contacts both regional and national, including who to call if you, a friend or a relative does not have a GP, Kaleidoscope Crisis in Sandwell, the Samaritans, and Forward Thinking Birmingham.

Breaking the chains of poor mental health

This project was led by the student Mental Health Ambassadors at Ark Victoria Academy and eventually involved more than 150 young people from year 6 to year 10.  
The Ambassadors were asked to design an installation for the launch of the school’s mental health awareness project.     

The ball and chain is the visual metaphor chosen by the students for the way in which poor mental health can hold us back from having a full and happy life.   

The involvement of so many young people and so many stitched pieces of work was to show that no-one is alone if they are struggling with poor mental health, we are all in it together.  

The group decided that the ball would be black with coloured stitch which reflected some aspect of mental health, the first chain links were black too, the colour of depression and low mood.   

To show that the chain can be broken and changes can be made we added  new links in different coloured and patterned fabrics stitched in white. The finished work is now over 75cm in diameter and has 25 chain links attached. 

The coloured pieces which are used to show the happier, healthier healthy links were made by 120 pupils who are now in year 7.  

All students really enjoyed being  involved in the project and there are plans to continue exploring how stitch and textiles can be used to help young people with worries or anxiety.