Student Support Services
It is entirely normal during the course of school life for a young person to have concerns that are troubling them. They know that their Housemaster or Housemistress, Matron, and Tutor are there to be able to talk things through with them and this is often the first point of call.
However, sometimes the pupil might want a more neutral place to think things through and this is where they can get help from the Student Support Service based in comfortable surroundings in the Health Centre.
This service is provided by Rachel Melville-Thomas and Stuart Hannah who are both Specialist Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists. They trained within the NHS and are members of the Association of Child Psychotherapists. They both have many years of relevant mental health experience.
A student can ask for an appointment directly or may be referred by a member of staff, with their agreement. They can be offered up to eight sessions of individual counselling. If it is felt that the young person or child requires further support, this is available from the same therapist at a reduced rate paid to College.
This service is particularly valuable at the moment, as trying to access mental health support for adolescents is currently difficult via the NHS or privately.
In the Prep, the same service is called Pupil Support and is always accessed via either staff or parent referral. In this case, the therapists will always speak to parents first, ideally in a meeting or by telephone to discuss concerns and clarify the process of help, including feedback to parents. Working with younger children may involve, play, drawing, and story making. If you would like to contact them directly please email in the first instance at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to counselling, Rachel Melville-Thomas can also offer mindfulness sessions within a small group setting. This practise helps us have a greater understanding of ourselves, and can help with the management of stress and anxiety. These are particularly useful during the run up to exam time.
Should you feel your child needs increased support on any given day, please contact the nurses on 01242 265 629 who will endeavour to help and provide support.