Sarah Aspley is a Teaching Assistant at Foxfields Academy in Blaby, Leicestershire. She is also the Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead at the school.
We chatted to Sarah recently about the things she has put into place at Foxfields, to support staff.
“The first thing we did was to have a designated noticeboard in the staff room for wellbeing. I then put into place a ‘Wellbeing Calendar’ and for each month of the year, we focus on a different theme. For example; April was ‘Stress Awareness Month’ and May included ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’.
All around the school in staff areas there are different posters with helpline numbers, information on different mental health illnesses, and how as a school we are here to support them. I have also made sure all staff are aware of the Mental Health First Aiders we have on site.
The staff particularly like the new ‘self-care box’, it has been a big hit with everyone! The box is full of different items such as chocolate, face masks, puzzles, and when a member of staff needs a ‘pick-me-up’ during the school day, they can dip in to the ‘self-care box’. After all, we all need a pick me up sometimes!”
For Mental Health Awareness Week, Sarah organised a socially distanced wellbeing breakfast outside on the school field for all staff to drop in before work and take ten minutes out of their day to connect with each other as well as nature (which was the theme for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek this year).
Sarah has also encouraged staff members to send postcards to each other anonymously with a positive message. These have really lifted spirits during these strange times and caused quite an uplift in mood across the school.
“I’m hoping when restrictions lift there will be more events and ideas I will be able to organise for everyone.”