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Stewart’s Melville College Achieves Mental Health Award

Stewart’s Melville College is delighted to have achieved its Silver School Mental Health Award from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. 

Wellbeing is a huge priority for all three schools at ESMS, as we work together to strengthen the mental health of the next generation. SMC is the first of the ESMS family of schools to apply for the Carnegie Award. The award recognises the range of evidenced based, wellbeing initiatives and innovations at SMC, many of which are also happening at MES and ESMS Junior School.  These include:  

  • A Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Party, working collaboratively with staff and the Head of School to propose and develop new initiatives 
  • A PSE program which is embedded with numerous sessions for every year group that challenges stigma and focuses on maintaining positive wellbeing and coping strategies 
  • A Mental Health Ambassadors program to increase peer support, challenge stigma and encourage positive mental health 
  • Staff training in Mental Health First Aid to build staff confidence 
  • The embedding of Mental health and wellbeing within the curriculum, with supporting activities, including assemblies, where trained teachers discuss wellbeing and self-care designed to normalise discussions about mental health 
  • Encouraging staff to be role models for students and staff, by creating a culture of holistic wellbeing at the school 
  • A wellbeing area on Firefly which has been created to improve the support the school provides to pupils, parents and staff 
  • Multiple avenues to express concerns, including staff, Mental Health Ambassadors and the Wellbeing drop box 
  • Time Out cards given to vulnerable pupils and chill out rooms available as peer support areas 
  • School Counselling service information on all guidance notice boards and on Firefly 
  • A vast extra-curricular programme, including physical activity from rugby and mountain biking to rowing and curling. 
  • Outdoor Education embedded across the curriculum, including hillwalking, projects and our 8 day residential in the highlands, in S3 

Frances McCrudden was appointed as Head of SMC at the start of the school year and wellbeing has been a key priority in her first year: 

“I am delighted to see the work we have been doing on wellbeing recognised by this award. Wellbeing is a particular priority for me as Head of School because it is directly linked to educational outcomes and has an important role to play in building self-confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence. 

“I am really proud of the immense commitment from staff and our Mental Health Ambassadors who work together to normalise conversations about mental health and create a culture where people are not afraid to seek help when they need it. The award is great to have but it was never the end goal. Wellbeing will remain on our school development plan as we continue to develop our work in this area.”  

The Mary Erskine School and ESMS Junior School are looking forward to applying for their awards next session.