Mental Health Conference
In September 2014 Highgate held a one-day conference to initiate a dialogue with parents and carers about promoting good mental health in young people. Chaired by Emma Thompson, its title was ‘A beginner’s guide to self-esteem, sanity and the adolescent years’. Thanks to a very kind donation from the Sofronie Foundation the content of the day has been filmed by Tapestry Pictures and can be accessed below; we hope that this will be of interest to parents and pupils at Highgate.
At Highgate, one of our core aims is to be an exemplar for the healthy life, with ‘health’ encapsulating the full package of physical, mental and social well-being, and not simply the absence of disease or infirmity. Too often, we would argue, our attention is drawn to poor well-being, to when things go wrong or to mental ill-health, all of which serves to stigmatize those with mental health difficulties. We view this conference, along with the publication of our policy to promote the well-being, mental and emotional health of our pupils, as an initial step, an opening-line to a conversation that will need to continue into the future.
In the run-up to and since the conference, a number of articles have been published in the Head Master's Blog and in the national and local press discussing the day itself and the ideas we have as a school to develop good mental health in our pupils. For more information about the conference, or indeed our future plans, and how to get involved, please do contact Dr Patrick Johnston, Director of Learning Support. If you have specific concerns regarding a pupil please do contact their Housemaster or Head of Year as appropriate.
AMBER VAN DAM AND SOPHIA PARVIZI-WAYNE- INTRODUCTION
Amber and Sophia are both current Highgate pupils in Year 13 studying for their A-Levels. In the last year they have launched a powerful mental health awareness campaign which has received significant attention and admiration from the Highgate community, media and campaigners, in addition to those needing the help most. The ultimate aim of their campaign is to make mental health awareness compulsory on the National Curriculum and its PSHE programme, ensuring that schools understand how to foster resilience and de-stigmatise mental health.
DAVID GOODBAN- CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S MENTAL HEALTH
Since 1989 David Goodban has worked as a social worker for children and as an approved (mental health) social worker, a therapist, a manager and a regional lead for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), before returning to work after retirement to support the work of the Mental Health Foundation as interim Head of their Children and Young Peoples programme. He also previously worked as a teacher, in community with learning disabled adults, and led a community based NGO.
FIONA PIENAAR- MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS: SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE
Fiona has a background of over 30 years in teaching in primary and intermediate schools, special needs education, counselling in schools, counsellor education, educational and mental health resource development, private practice and mental health research. With a PhD in Behavioural Science and a MEd in Counselling, Fiona’s research has focused primarily on children's experiences of stress and coping. Fiona is currently head of clinical services at Place2Be the leading UK provider of mental health support in schools.
LINDA PAPADOPOULOS- MY EXPERIENCES IN RECENT YEARS
Linda is a Chartered Counselling and Health Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society. She has worked in various treatment settings both privately, with her own practice and in the National Health Service. During her 14 years as a Chartered Psychologist, she has gained extensive experience in the counselling of individuals, couples and families. She was recently included in the Top 20 therapists in London by the Evening Standard newspaper and was awarded the Madame Figaro Women of the Year Award in 2008 in the field of academia.
JACQUELINE SIN- FAMILIES ARE CHICKEN SOUP FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S MENTAL HEALTH
Jacqueline is a NIHR Research Fellow, based at King's College London. Alongside her academic and research work focusing on family-based psychosocial intervention, Jacqueline practices clinically in Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust with a special interest in working with people with complex presentation of psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder and collaborative working with their families especially siblings. Jacqueline was a former NICE Guideline Development Group Member in developing the NICE Guideline on Psychosis and schizophrenia.
GREG WALLACE- ADOLESCENT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT: OPPORTUNITES AND VULNERABILITY
Greg is an Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at The George Washington University. He trained as a developmental neuropsychologist and holds his Ph.D. from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, University of London. He also previously held a postdoctoral fellowship followed by a research fellowship at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Much of his research has focused on examining typical and atypical developmental trajectories, particularly during adolescence.
RUSSELL FOSTER- SLEEP AND WELL-BEING
Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience and the Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and Nicholas Kurti Senior Fellow at Brasenose College. Russell Foster’s research spans basic and applied circadian and photoreceptor biology. He received his education at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Professor Sir Brian Follett. For his discovery of non-rod, non-cone ocular photoreceptors he has been awarded the Honma prize (Japan), Cogan award (USA), and Zoological Society Scientific & Edride-Green Medals (UK).
ELENI PALIOKOSTA- DISCOVERING YOUR RESILIENCE TO BEAT ADOLESCENT STRESS
Eleni is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has been working for the last ten years in the field of Developmental Disorders. She has a special interest and expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders. She completed her PhD on Autism and she has done clinical research on ADHD and Learning Disabilities at King's College London. For the last 6 years she works as a Consultant at MOSAIC, a Community Specialist Service for Children with Disabilities in Camden, employed by the Tavistock and Portman, NHS Foundation Trust.
JOHN CARR- THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY OF THE INTERNET
John Carr writes and consults about internet safety and security. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on children’s and young people’s use of the internet and associated new technologies. John is a Senior Expert Adviser to the United Nations (International Telecommunication Union) and has been an Expert Adviser to the European Union, the European Network and Information Security Agency, and consultant to the Oak Foundation, Geneva. He is Secretary of the UK’s Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), Technical Adviser (Online), to Bangkok-based ECPAT International, and Expert Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) based in Rome.