Over the last few months I have blogged about Mental Health Awareness and wellbeing as part of the #wellbeingdgmeet and had a wonderful ongoing discussion with some amazing colleagues about how we can promote wellness in our schools. I've talked about supporting a colleague through a really challenging time and about the training that we have put in place for staff in supporting their peers and our students.
I can't emphasise enough the importance that I place on wellbeing in my school but there are things that have taken place beyond my own workplace that have frustrated me about the support on offer in this country. Having just spent the weekend with a university friend and her family the discussions that we have had mean that I am writing this through tears. Watching her with her beautiful daughters you would think that everything was idyllic but the hidden pain of PND started to show. A teething baby who can't settle was simply the final straw in breaking her composed front and her pouring her heart out.
We talked openly about some of the feelings that she has had and the help that she is, thankfully, getting but that it took far too long and such extreme feelings for her to get there. Given that she was so unwell after the birth of her first child, the support could easily have been ready for her. Yet it took her pretty much taking herself to A&E to get the help she needed. We talked about being able to see an end and knowing the reasons; rationalising what she is feeling. We talked about how amazing it is that she asked for help and got it. We talked about what an incredible mum she is and that her daughters are bright, inquisitive, kind and confident. We talked about her fears for her children and that that they might suffer in the same way that she has. And we talked about how she will be there for them if that happens and that she will understand, empathise and support them in every way they need.
My wonderful, strong, incredible friend will be fine because she is now getting what she needs. This just makes me more determined to support @cerasmusteach and other wellbeing-supporters on the journey to ensure that we help our children to be confident enough to ask for help and know how to find it.