Clare Erasmus

Growing a mental health strategy

How do you go about drawing up a whole-school plan that helps students to make choices about their emotional and physical wellbeing? Clare Erasmus has hit on a collaborative way that works

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You know you are sitting on a mental health problem in your school when you repeatedly see the following scenarios: a student, feeling overwhelmed with school pressure, rushes out of class with a panic attack; another hangs around your class after the lesson because he just needs to talk; a student’s weight is beginning to dominate her life; or a 15-year-old boy is displaying serious, defiant antisocial behaviour and violation of the rules.

These are not uncommon problems in schools, but we tend to view them as isolated incidents rather than a connected group of behaviours that need to be ...

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