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Mental Health Awareness Week - #ToHelpMyAnxiety

Junior and Senior Pupils Painting Together
  • Junior School
  • Senior School

At Watson’s, our pupils’ mental wellbeing  is our top priority. 

We aim to provide a safe environment for pupils to open up about their concerns, ensuring there are individuals around them that can offer a strong support network. In order to achieve this, we have a number of pupil-led groups in place that aim to alleviate the stigma around mental health; encouraging pupils and staff to come together to discuss issues that impact all of us.

The support we offer on campus includes:

Heads Together 

Heads Together has been running for the last 5 years and offers a safe space for pupils to speak openly about prevalent concerns; reducing the stigma around mental health. This year the group developed a new website for pupils to use so they can quickly access mental health support both in and out of school by simply scanning a QR code on their mobile phone. The fact that Heads Together is led by pupils, for pupils is fundamental to its success as the focus is invariably on issues that are impacting young people the most. 

Seasons of Growth

Seasons of Growth is a small group that discusses loss, separation, bereavement and other life changes. They help pupils make sense of their grief reactions, allowing them to feel an increased sense of belonging and connectedness, emotional literacy, concentration, confidence and relationships.

LGBT+ and Discuss

Our LGBT+ group offers pupils a place to talk about LGBT+ issues and is open to all genders and identities. The group gives pupils a platform to talk about (but not limited to) homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, alleviating any stigma and discrimination associated with being part of the LGBT+ community. This allows pupils to never feel a sense of social isolation, exclusion or rejection. The group wants members to experience the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance and have a sense of belonging wherever they are.

Botanics Society

The Botanics Society is a plant based wellbeing club that bases its principals on ecotherapy - connecting pupils’ mental health with nature as a means to relax and allow pupils to ‘grow their minds’. The Botanics Society grants pupils the chance to get out in the fresh air, participating in horticultural, nature-based or conservation activities that not only give them a sense of focus but also calm the mind in a relaxed and productive manner.

Drum Therapy

A group targeted at S1-S3 that focuses on equine therapy as a means to help reduce stress and increase confidence. Working with the horses offers an extraordinary amount of emotional support to our young people, allowing them to build their social skills, problem solving, trust and empathy.

Art Therapy

This is a small group exploring mental wellbeing through art and uses the medium as its main mode of expression and communication. Participating in Art Therapy reduces distress and improves social, emotional and mental health by promoting insight, self-compassion and a sense of self-worth.

Crossreach Counselling

Crossreach provides professional support to young people who may be struggling to cope with life and all its emotional ups and downs. One to one counselling is available in school and is provided by trained counsellors who will explore issues and concerns in a safe and confidential environment.


UNITED is our peer support programme, made up of S6 volunteers who go through formal Child Protection training. The aim of UNITED is to provide a friendly service to our younger years who may feel less inclined to speak to an adult about an issue that’s bothering them, or simply to have an older and wiser ear to chat through some friendship issues. The team works closely with S1, with each form being assigned two UNITED members. These two members will be with the S1s for registration, partake in PSD lessons and be around at social times. The UNITED team is also available at lunch times in a designated room. 

Pets as Therapy - Bella

Bella is our Pets as Therapy dog and is based in the Pupil Support department. She is a 7 year old working cocker spaniel with a very gentle nature and loves people! Bella brings regular canine companionship and comfort to our pupils, most predominantly in Senior School and is also on hand to help our P7s transition to S1. She very much enjoys all the attention when she is on campus, not just from our pupils but our staff too!

If you have any questions about the groups and activities above, please contact the Pupil Support team in the Senior School.

The health and wellbeing of our staff is also vitally important. Good staff wellbeing is essential for cultivating a mentally healthy school, retaining and motivating staff and promoting pupil wellbeing and attainment. To reinforce this, our staff are all members of The Wellbeing Group. The goal of the group is to drive the health & wellbeing agenda and increase staff engagement. They recently launched their new initiative ‘Staff Voice’ to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and valued. 

Mental Health Awareness Week might just be a 7 day period of recognition but at Watson’s we are aware of the importance of our staff and pupils’ mental health every day. As our motto ‘Ex Corde Caritas’ suggests, we ‘Love from the Heart’ across the school community and aim to be a firm support to our staff and pupils’ wellbeing at all times.

  • Mental Health Awareness