Dear Parents and Staff Members
My name is Dorota Rospierska, I am a CAMHS clinician and family therapist by training. I would like to introduce myself as the Petchey Academy’s WHAMS worker. WHAMS stand for Well-being and Mental Health in Schools programme. This programme is a joint initiative of organisations like CAMHS (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service) and other partners (see below).
The aim of the programme is to build systems and structures to support wellbeing and positive mental health for children and young people in schools. After all, this is a place where they spend most of their time, apart from home.
In CAMHS we have all sorts of mental health professionals like nurses, family therapists, clinical psychologists, child and adolescent psychotherapists, psychiatrists and others. Our role in CAMHS is to help children and their families recognise and manage their emotional and psychological difficulties and improve their wellbeing.
If we compare a family to a football team if one team member is upset, unwell, injured or unsettled in any way the whole team is affected and the whole team’s effort is needed to make the team play well again. Families seem to function in a similar way. Players routinely need sport psychologists, physiotherapists, doctors, couches to help them perform, even more when footballers struggle. Similarly, at time of crisis, families need support to overcome difficulties. I become the family’s support team.
A child’s wellbeing and positive mental health depends on many people and circumstances like school life, home environment, community, health and social care services accessible for the child and family.
WHAMS workers cooperate with school staff, other professionals like educational psychologist and speech and language therapist as well as parents to join forces in order to help the children in overcoming emotional and psychological barriers they may face in their development.
What is the purpose of this Wellbeing Section?
In this weekly section of the website, I would like to share with you information about wellbeing/mental health issues that children typically go through and what adults might do to help. I will also give you information about professional services available in the borough, if you realise that your child’s difficulties require more systematic approach and professional input.