Date Posted... May 12th 2023

A Focus on Mental Health

As we approach National Mental Health Awareness Week next week (15th to 21st of May), the Rev, Aubin De Gruchy, updates us on the pastoral approach taken by Truro School to support the well-being of our staff and student body.

“At Truro School, it is important to recognise that good mental health is fostered both in and outside of the classroom; in Music, Drama, Art, DT, Sport, in the Duke of Edinburgh programme and in the host of other activities and clubs we run. It is also nurtured in our chapel services and the various school assemblies.

Alongside this, over the last 6 years, more than 100 Truro School Prep and Senior School teaching and OPS staff have completed the two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid Course and a number of Upper Sixth Formers have completed the half-day course, ‘Aware’. This training is aimed at helping staff to recognise when pupils are struggling and to spot any warning signs. To help where they can, and know when and where to refer students who need further care.

In Lower Sixth, PSHEE students also explore how to maintain good mental health and how to provide guidance for those struggling with poor mental health. This is also included in the peer mentoring programme we run at Truro, ‘ACHE’.

We have had 30 to 50 students volunteering each year to do the training for the last 20 years. They attend a session every Thursday for 16 weeks before graduating at an ACHE Banquet where they receive their badges and certificates.

ACHE graduates then go on to run the scheme for the next year and work alongside the Heads of Year and Form Tutors of the forms to which they have been allocated.

At both the Prep and Senior Schools, counselling is available to those struggling with any mental health concerns. The nurses in the Medical Centre are often the first port of call for those in need. In the Senior School, the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Heads of Year meet once a week to highlight students whose well-being they are concerned about.

The Senior Pastoral Team also meets once a week. This is led by the Pastoral Deputy Head, who is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and the Safeguarding Deputies, and includes the Head of Boarding, the School Counsellor, the Nurses and the Chaplain. The responsibility of this team is to identify and provide support for any students who are at serious risk.

Truro School tracks concerns about pupils via the MyConcern app. This includes the reporting of concerns and incidents, what course of action is to be taken and which member of staff will be responsible for doing so.

By actively committing to supporting good mental health, Truro School makes it possible for all staff and pupils to flourish, growing their talents and abilities in a caring supportive community that allows each person to be their unique self.”