Wellbeing libraries

Wellbeing libraries in schools

Initiative purpose: 

This initiative is focussed on local schools to raise awareness of mental health issues and to signpost young people to information, resources and support.

Supported goals: 

Work with local organisations and groups to improve attitudes towards mental health and to implement early intervention programs

Improve access to information and resources to support mental fitness

Be a visible, proactive, and positive presence in our communities

What are we doing:

It is our intention to provide a mental health library for each secondary school in our local area, so that information a young person might need is readily available and easily accessible for them. We aim to add our voice to the clamour advocating the normalisation of mental health by providing a range of leaflets on topics such as making friends, losing someone you care about, transition at Year 7 and 11, depression, anxiety, and self harm. We believe in the power of the story too and will be providing a range of fiction texts that explore mental health and well-being as well (A Monster Calls, The Illustrated Mum, The Perks of Being a Wall flower, for example).

To build our libraries, we are working alongside The Institute of Mental Health, other professionals, and schools, to curate, select and update the range of reading materials that we agree will be appropriate for students in secondary schools across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.  

So far we have successfully placed Wellbeing libraries in 7 schools.

Where are they?

We have placed libraries in seven local secondary schools. They are:

St John Houghton Catholic School 

Heanor Gate Science College

Kirk Hallam Community Academy

Granville Academy

Lees Brook Community School

Bennerley Fields

Kirk Hallam Sixth Form

Coming very soon: Ilkeston Ormiston Academy, Broomfield Hall (Derby College), and EMA Training Derby.

Each one is managed by designated school staff and works with a liaison representative from the Will Garvey Trust Foundation to ensure that the most effective use of the library is achieved.

Feedback so far has been rewarding but there are always challenges to get new concepts like this fully utilised and we are working with the schools to ensure that the libraries are appropriately stocked and used by those in need.

We are working with the following organisations to establish a Wellbeing Library

Broomfield Hall (Derby College)

Breadsall Priory (Marriott)

EMA Training

Esteem ATP

Also from our existing locations……

Kirk Hallam Academy have set up a Wellbeing Group that meets regularly to explore ways they can raise awareness and improve the emotional wellbeing of students. The Wellbeing Library itself is to be moved: its new home will be in the main school library where all students will have easy access to the library.

Granville Academy’s Wellbeing Group have just received a new set of books to add to their existing collection. This was to address the issues faced by students in that particular setting. Bereavement and anxiety are topics that were requested. Students in the Wellbeing Group have each taken a book and will be writing a review. Watch this space for their recommendations.

The Wellbeing Group at Lees Brook Academy are in the process of creating a film that will show how the WTF Wellbeing Library is being used to support students. We’re really excited to see this and will share as soon as we can. Thank you to staff and students at Lees Brook for their support in this project.

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