Welsh Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing visits Place2Be partner school Ysgol Bryn Teg
Welsh Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, visited Ysgol Bryn Teg Primary School in Carmarthenshire, as part of Place2Be's Children's Mental Health Week.
The Minister and Civil servants working with the Welsh Government, who also joined the visit, met with pupils and staff at the school to hear how they promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
During the visit, the minister witnessed pupils engaging in activities, such as circle time and a jigsaw programme. The pupils also looked at ways of building healthy connections, which is the theme for this year's Children's Mental Health Week.
The minister also paid a visit to the Place2Be room, where she spoke with Place2Be Mental Health Practitioner Sara Rogers about how the service supports children, families and school staff. Place2Be is just one part of the school's offer and approach to wellbeing.
Building self-confidence and encouraging children to talk about their feelings in the school environment is really important for children’s long-term well-being. I really enjoyed meeting the children and staff at Ysgol Bryn Teg and seeing the activities which help foster good communication and well-being among the pupils. Supporting young people’s mental health in schools is a priority for the Welsh Government, with a particular focus on early prevention and intervention. We’re investing an extra £50m a year across a range of activities, including school counselling, and I was really pleased to see how this funding is supporting the children at Ysgol Bryn Teg.
Lynne Neagle, Welsh Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
After hearing from the pupils, the minister had the opportunity to visit the school’s outdoor learning areas and see some of their equipment, including their climbing equipment, bikes, mud kitchen, physical literacy programme, and the school's wildlife meadow. Spending time outside and having access to outdoor play is integral to Ysgol Bryn Teg’s approach to supporting physical and mental health.
To deliver wellbeing effectively on a whole school level, we have seen the benefit of the creation of an ethos and culture which has wellbeing as a core value. This principle, alongside the creation of a health and wellbeing lead who sits on the senior leadership team, provides the development of a progressive, consistent and exciting health and wellbeing offer for all learners. This includes interventions and targeted support to the most vulnerable learners and families. The opportunity to access external services such as Places2Be and providing on-site counselling has helped those children in managing their emotions and be in a better space in their readiness to learn.
Geraint Jones, Headteacher at Ysgol Bryn Teg Primary School
Ysgol Bryn Teg has been a Place2Be partner school since 2001 and is one of 12 schools that Place2Be works in across South Wales.
Place2Be has offered child mental health support in Wales since 2009 and currently reaches over 4,345 pupils and their families.
A fantastic visit to hear about the positive impact our services are having within the school community. It’s a pleasure to be working with schools who are equally passionate about supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Janine Thomas, Place2Be’s Clinical Lead for Wales