Mental Health & Wellbeing

Selby High School is committed to developing a whole school positive mental health and wellbeing ethos that raises awareness, promotes understanding and reduces stigma. Our aim is to promote positive mental health for every member of our school community by ensuring that the wellbeing of our students and staff is at the heart of all that we do.

This section of the website supports the work of the school in:

  • Promoting mental health as part of school life;
  • Improving the emotional wellbeing of our staff and students;
  • Ensuring mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided;
  • Offering timely interventions that match the needs of our students and staff;
  • Engaging the whole-school community in the importance of mental health awareness;
  • Capturing the views of parents, carers and guardians, students and staff on mental health issues.

We aim to help our students to discuss their feelings, build their self-confidence and emotional resilience and therefore their capacity to learn. Teaching students the signs of poor mental health and self-help techniques to support good mental health is key as well as providing support at an early stage in school.


Accessing Help in School

Wellbeing in Mind TeamSelby High School is a caring school. If you have any worries or concerns, and would like to speak to somebody in school, there are plenty of people who you can talk to:

PD Tutor - Your PD Tutor will see you on most days during PD time. Just mention to your PD Tutor that you need a bit of help and they will point you in the right direction.

Class teachers - All of your subject teachers have received training in social and emotional health.

Year Leader - Year Leaders will always be willing to listen to any worries you may have, operating an ‘open door’ policy.

Mrs Moughan, Student Support Mentor - For those students needing a bit of extra support.

Mrs Elgie, Student Wellbeing Practitioner - For students needing extra support with their social, emotional or mental health. A drop-in service is available before school, after school and at break times.

Wellbeing in Mind Team - A team of NHS professionals working in school to offer support to students experiencing common emotional wellbeing difficulties (referral from Year Leader).

Student Wellbeing Ambassadors - A team of students who are passionate about promoting wellbeing for students in school and are the driving force behind wellbeing calendar days. Our Student Wellbeing Ambassadors are good listeners. They will help you find support if you need it.

Relaxation club - A drop-in club available at lunchtimes, run by our Student Wellbeing Practitioner and Student Wellbeing Ambassadors. Come along to join in relaxing activities & have a chat!

Emma - Wellbeing

Mrs Elgie, Student Wellbeing Practitioner



Mental Health & Wellbeing: Key Staff in School

Miss G. Smith - Senior Mental Health Lead

Mr M. Sinclair - Designated Safeguard Lead

Mr G. Gibson - Designated Governor for Mental Health

Mrs E. Elgie - Student Wellbeing Practitioner

Miss A. Ridley - Thrive Practitioner

Mrs S. Wardell - Alternative Provision Lead

Mrs S. Langridge - Safeguarding Officer

Mrs E. Lockhart - SENCO

Mrs A. Moughan - Student Support Mentor

Mrs K. Wood - Attendance & Engagement Officer

Mr J. Williamson - Behaviour Support Team


Youth Mental Health First Aiders

Selby High School have seven school staff trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid skills. These staff are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and to provide support on a first aid basis. They are not counsellors or therapists, but will take on the role of a first responder to assist pupils in emotional distress. Our Youth Mental Health First Aiders are:

Youth Mental Health First Aiders


Signposting (Help Outside School)

At Selby High School, we aim to provide a range of opportunities for students to seek support from members of staff and from their peers through the Wellbeing Ambassadors.  However, we are aware that for some individuals seeking support in school is still difficult.

This page is designed to help everyone find external resources and support to address any concerns that they have. It is not a comprehensive list, but includes organisations and people that we believe can help.  If you have any other organisations that you think we have missed please let us know at school and we will provide the additional links.


Online self-harm support


Eating Disorder information: 0808 801 0711


CAMHS Crisis

0800 0516171

0800 1111 

Free 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.


Childline App

Compass Phoenix

0800 008 7452

Compass Phoenix aims to improve the mental heath and wellbeing of children and young people aged 5-18 (25 with SEND) in schools across North Yorkshire.

Text: 07520 631168

Buzz Us is a text messaging service for young people aged 11-18 who live in North Yorkshire.



Drugs information: 0300 123 6600

The Go-To

Healthy minds in North Yorkshire

The Go-To Mini Market Place

Information line: 0300 123 3393

Mental Health Charity

The Mix
0800 808 4994
Free information and support for under 25s in the UK. Get advice about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money & jobs. Chat about any issue on the moderated discussion boards and live chat room.

Helpline: 0800 800 5000
Specialises in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.


Offers free courses for parents & teenagers.

The passcode is NYFamilies to access these courses for free.

Helpline: 0800 068 41 41

Charity for the prevention of young suicide, offering confidential support and awareness training.
Call 116 123 for free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Emotional support for anyone feeling down, experiencing distress or struggling to cope.


Text shout to 85258

Young Minds
020 7089 5050 (general enquiries)
0808 802 5544 (parents helpline, for any adult with concerns about the mental health of a child or young person)
National charity committed to improving the mental health of all babies, children and young people. Provides information for both parents and young people.

Where to access local support

HEALTHY CHILD TEAM: 01609 780780

The 5-19 Healthy Child Service is a progressive universal programme which includes universal services appropriate for all children and young people, and additional services for those with specific needs and risk factors. The 5-19 Healthy Child Service works in community settings to deliver universal and targeted interventions designed to meet public health outcomes and ensure the emotional and physical health and wellbeing of families, children and young people across North Yorkshire are met.The 5-19 Healthy Child Service is the first point of contact for schools when there are concerns about a child’s health and wellbeing. Professionals can refer families to the service by completing the Referral to Children and Family Service form or by calling the Customer Resolution Centre single point of contact on 01609 780780. Parents, carers and young people themselves can access the service for support and information by calling the Customer Resolution Centre single point of contact on 01609 780780.

COMPASS PHOENIX: 0800 008 7452

Compass Phoenix is an innovative specialist service that helps young people who are engaged in risk taking behaviour to make sustainable lifestyle changes to improve their long-term health, resilience and emotional wellbeing. Compass Phoenix provides the full range of specialist interventions required by young people who have been screened as having moderate or high levels of need with regard to their substance misuse and/or sexual health.

Compass Phoenix Young people aged from nine to 19 (and up to 25 for those with special educational needs or disabilities) across North Yorkshire affected by substance misuse, poor sexual health and issues relating to emotional wellbeing and mental health, can access free help, advice and practical support at Compass Phoenix. Support usually takes place in school or in a place that suits you.

Tel: 01904 661916     Freephone: 0800 008 7452     Email:
Website: North Yorkshire Compass Phoenix



Community child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).Single Point of Access (SPA): 01904 615345. 7 days a week, 10am-10pm


Tel: 0800 051 6171 (24 hours, 7 days a week). 



Helpline: 0808 800 2222
Support to anyone parenting a child.


Student Wellbeing Ambassadors

Wellbeing AmbassadorsOur Student Wellbeing Ambassadors form a crucial part of our Student Leadership structure in school. The role has evolved over time in response to student feedback and the focus areas for student mental health and wellbeing. The role of a Student Wellbeing Ambassador currently involves:

  • Promoting wellbeing for students by organising creative, engaging activities;
  • Being the driving force behind national & international wellbeing calendar days;
  • Being a kind, friendly & approachable presence around school and in the community, signposting students in the direction of help & support. 

We currently have 52 Student Wellbeing Ambassadors across years 8 – 10. Applications are welcome via Ready Steady Learn when the application window opens at Easter. More information will be given in the annual Student Leadership assembly.

Wellbeing Award for Schools

Wellbeing AwardAbout the Wellbeing Award for Schools

We are pleased to announce that Selby High School has been awarded the Wellbeing Award for Schools for another 3 years following a successful reassessment. We now hold this award until March 2026. Click here to read the report from the assessment visit here:

Selby High WAS Reassessment Report 2023

The Wellbeing Award for Schools focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and students. The award has a focus on changing the long-term culture of a school, and embedding an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all. We originally secured this award in March 2019.

With this award, we can continue to:

  • Show our commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life
  • Improve the emotional wellbeing of staff and pupils
  • Ensure that mental health problems are identified early and that appropriate, timely support is provided
  • Offer provisions and interventions that match the needs of our pupils and staff
  • Engage the whole-school community in the importance of mental health awareness
  • Capture the views of parents, students and staff on mental health issues

The Award Objectives

The WAS has eight objectives which focus on areas of evaluation, development and celebration of the work of schools in promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. Each of these areas is further broken down into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Objective 1: The school is committed to promoting and protecting positive emotional wellbeing and mental health by achieving the Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Objective 2: The school has a clear vision and strategy for promoting and protecting emotional wellbeing and mental health, which is communicated to all involved with the school.

Objective 3: The school has a positive culture which regards the emotional wellbeing and mental health as the responsibility of all.

Objective 4: The school actively promotes staff emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Objective 5: The school prioritises professional learning and staff development on emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Objective 6: The school understands the different types of emotional and mental health needs across the whole-school community and has systems in place to respond appropriately.

Objective 7: The school actively seeks the ongoing participation of the whole-school community in its approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Objective 8: The school works in partnerships with other schools, agencies and available specialist services to support emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Wellbeing continues to be a huge priority for the school and we will be publishing regular wellbeing updates via the Principal’s newsletter.

Wellbeing News

December 2023

LGBTQ+ Support Group
The group has been running since September and has proven popular with students across year groups. So far the group has designed the LGBTQ+ website which was launched in November, have made a range of LGBTQ+ pin badges which are available to buy for 10p in the LRC, and recently carried out a piece of work with Mr. Hainsworth to help ensure that the Values Curriculum across the school, including LD lessons and Diversity Days, are as inclusive as possible. Students also gave feedback on the draft of the updated Relationships, Sex, and Health Education Policy. The group will continue to meet every 2 weeks in the Retreat.

LGBTQ+ Website
The new LGBTQ+ Student Support website was launched and is now available for students via the student portal. Students who attend the LGBTQ+ support group helped to design the website and they hope that other students within the school community will benefit from help and advice the website offers. The website offers support and advice on identities and definitions, coming out, and dealing with discrimination, as well as signposting students to a range of internal and external support.

Trip to Osborne House
Mrs Elgie and Mrs Moughan took a group of students to Osborne House on Tuesday 19th December. Students enjoyed taking part in a festive quiz, decorating biscuits and building important bonds with the lovely staff and residents. We hope to continue to work with Osborne House in the future.


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October 2023

We had another fantastic celebration of World Mental Health Day (WMHD) recently with assemblies being delivered to all year groups and colourful bunting being displayed all around the student entrance (kindly put together by some of our students in the Retreat). The theme of this year’s WMHD assembly was ‘anxiety’ - what it looks like & how to deal with low level symptoms (self-help). Currently, anxiety is the main mental health issue that our students seek support for so the assembly was designed specifically to address this.

The Wellbeing in Mind Team delivered Sleep Hygiene assemblies to Y7 - Y10. The assemblies were recorded and shown to Year 11 during PD time.

Emma Elgie (Wellbeing Practitioner) attended the Year 6 open evening, KS3 and KS4 evening to offer advice, support and self-help resources to families. The Wellbeing in Mind Team were also in attendance for the KS3 and 4 evenings.
The new LGBTQ+ support group has already been hugely successful. The group is currently working on designing an LGBTQ+ website on the Ready Steady Learn portal which will offer advice, information, inspiration and resources. The group is also looking at promoting key calendar events, including Pride in June, as well as designing their own LGBTQ+ pin badges which they hope to make available to other students in the near future.

After Christmas, Emma is hoping to deliver wellbeing sessions to Year 7 PD groups. The sessions will cover physical Vs mental health, friendships, sleep hygiene and resilience.


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MAY 2023

The Wellbeing Team in school have been working  hard to promote mental health national calendar  days & additional resources have been made  available on the Student Wellbeing Portal, digital screens around school and the Staff Wellbeing  Portal over the last couple of months.  In April, we celebrated ‘Stress Awareness Month’  and in May, the focus has been on ‘Mental Health  Week’. The theme for this year’s Mental Health  Week was ‘Anxiety’ - something that many young  people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. 

There are some excellent resources that have been produced on the theme of anxiety as part of Mental Health Week (links below). We also have self-help leaflets available in the Retreat for students needing a little bit of extra support in this area.

The next round of Student Leadership applications have recently been completed with Y11’s imminent departure and we would like to welcome another 8 Student Wellbeing Ambassadors to our team! This takes our total to 47 Student Wellbeing Ambassadors, working to improve wellbeing for students, across years 7 - 10.

Mrs Elgie, Student Wellbeing Practitioner, is continuing to work with groups during PD time and this term it will be the turn of Mason & Palin students in year 7 & 8. The focus of these interactive sessions includes: Mental vs physical health, support in school, challenging negative thoughts, sleep hygiene and healthy friendships.

The exam period can be a stressful time for many of our Y11 students and drop-in sessions were offered during the Strike Days in the Retreat. Y11 students are always welcome to pop in for a chat and collect some self-help resources on managing exam stress, worry, anxiety and sleep.

Anxiety support:

Anxiety Leaflet from Stem4

Why anxiety is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

What is Anxiety?

Mentally Healthy Schools’ guide to Anxiety

Barnados - Parents’ Self Help Guide to for Anxiety

Exam stress - Useful links for parents:

Advice for Parents to help support with Exam Stress

Young Minds: A-Z Mental Health Guide for Exams

Young Minds: A-Z Mental Health Guide for Anxiety

Parent Kind’s Guide to Exam Stress & Failure Anxiety

Place 2 Be’s Guide to navigating Exam Season

Charlie Waller - Managing Stress & Anxiety

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Mrs Elgie, Student Wellbeing Practitioner has been running some very successful sessions with our Y7 & 8 PD groups during their allocated personal development time at the end of the day. These sessions have focussed around self-care and looking after our own wellbeing, where to access support as well as some fun practical activities such as wellbeing walks, quizzes and designing posters to display around school. These sessions have been delivered to Garrett and Hockney house so far, with the Mason and Palin sessions starting after the Easter holiday. Some students have also been involved in naming Mrs Elgie’s wellbeing room. A small vote was cast and the room has been named The Retreat, which is very fitting!

To celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week from 6th – 12th Feb, the home learning for this week for students in years 7, 8 & 9 has focused on the theme of ‘Let’s Connect’. Students are invited to partake in several different challenges with a prize being awarded for the best entry in each category.

The school website pages on wellbeing have been refreshed and have a wealth of content to support mental health & wellbeing for students, parents & carers. Our new SEMH policy and whole school strategy can be viewed here, alongside the support we can offer in school.

A number of our Y8 Wellbeing Ambassadors are undertaking a project called Modeshift Active Travel Ambassadors in an attempt to make the journey to/from school safer for our students. This project will finish with a trip to County Hall, in Northallerton, where they will pitch their idea to secure some funding to put their plan into place!

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Last month, as part of a huge drive to challenge bullying, Selby High School got behind the promotion of both Anti-bullying week and World Kindness Day. Students in all year groups received an assembly on anti-bullying which helped increase awareness of: what is/is not bullying, the different types of bullying, not passing bullying off as ‘banter’, the impact that bullying can have and bullying reporting & prevention. Students were reminded of the different ways that they can report bullying in school including via the ‘STOP – Report bullying & harassment’ button on Ready Steady Learn.

Further to this, our fantastic Student Wellbeing Ambassadors designed a fabulous anti-bullying display & a ‘Student Guide to Bullying’ has been redeveloped by our Student Leadership Team. This is available to view on the school website under ‘Safeguarding & Welfare’. You will also find here the School Tolerance Pledge, No-bystanders Approach and a link to our Antibullying policy. We are working hard to create a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying and this has been the focus of some of our Student Voice work this term.

To celebrate World Kindness Day, the Student Wellbeing Ambassadors put together a ‘Positive affirmation’ treasure hunt. This involved writing inspirational messages of kindness on colourful cards and hiding these around school. Any student who successfully found one of these could return it to Mrs Elgie, Student Wellbeing Practitioner, in exchange for a treat!

Our dedicated Wellbeing pages on the school website have been redesigned and are well worth a look. On here you can find specific information on how to access help in school, signposting to help outside school, the Wellbeing Award for Schools and selfhelp resources. Within our self-help section you will find a wealth of information on how to support young people with anxieties, exam stress, drugs/alcohol/smoking, LGBTQ+, self-harm, sleep, school refusal plus lots more. You will also find links to bookable courses & workshops from ‘Family Matters York’ and ‘Our Place’ should you be interested. These cover a range of topics including communicating with your teenager, boundary setting and anger management.

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October 2022

It has been a busy half term in the area of mental health and wellbeing with a brand new strategic plan for 2022-23. This plan drives forward our continued commitment to supporting and protecting the mental health and wellbeing of our school community.

From September this year we have welcomed Mrs Elgie to the role of Student Wellbeing Practitioner. Mrs Elgie will be offering casual drop-in sessions at the following times, for students who want to have a chat in a nice calm & relaxed environment. Students can also email Mrs Elgie at: if they would like some advice, guidance, self-help leaflets or to arrange a meeting. Drop-ins are available:

  • Monday - 8.15 - 8.40am, breaktime and afterschool.
  • Tuesday - 8.15 - 8.40am, breaktime and afterschool.
  • Weds - 8.15 - 8.40am, breaktime and afterschool.
  • Thursday - 8.15 - 8.40am, breaktime, lunchtime and afterschool.
  • Friday - 8.15 - 8.40am and breaktime.

Mrs Elgie also offers a wide range of interventions focusing on issues such as anxiety, low mood, exam stress reduction, sleep, self-esteem, body image, self-harm and emotional coaching. These would take place over 6 – 8 sessions and are referred by the Year Leader.

Miss Smith, Assistant Principal has now completed the DfE Senior Mental Health Lead course. This role has oversight of all things related to social, emotional and mental health in school. It helps to ensure that mental health & wellbeing are promoted effectively within school, receive appropriate curriculum coverage and that students receive relevant, timely interventions to support their wellbeing needs.

Mrs Duffy has undertaken the Adult Mental Health First Aider training in order to support staff in school. She now joins a team of 8 other staff who are qualified in Child Mental Health First Aid. Furthermore, all staff have just completed the last instalment of a 3-part Emotion Coaching training delivered by NYCC.

Our Student Wellbeing Ambassadors have been busy promoting World Mental Health Day and Young Mind’s Hello Yellow campaign. Fantastic hand-made bunting was designed and displayed around school by the students and awareness stickers were handed out on the Student Entrance. Students in all years received a Mental Health Day assembly with a focus on the importance of talking and where to access support, if needed.

The Wellbeing Award for Schools revalidation is now well under way with lots of actions taking place across the school. The re-assessment for this award by an external adviser will take place in February 2023. A Staff Wellbeing Pledge has also been launched.

The NHS Wellbeing in Mind Team (WBIMT) continue to work closely with the school delivering some fantastic direct work and whole school sessions. As part of the recent Diversity Day, year 9 received an in-depth session on Sleep & Health. The WBIMT will also be assisting with the design of some specific curriculum content for Life Development lessons.

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JULY 2022Wellbeing Badges

  • Following the success of International Day of Happiness, our Student Wellbeing Ambassadors wanted their next project to have equal impact in raising awareness of wellbeing issues that affect some of our students. With this in mind, they set about showing support for Pride Month. Six impressive badges were designed by our Ambassadors, which were then sold to students for a 10p donation to cover the cost of materials. Over 200 badges were sold in total! A new noticeboard presentation was also designed and displayed by our Ambassadors.
  • As part of a recent Student Leadership assembly, students in all years were given the opportunity to apply to become a Student Wellbeing Ambassador. We had 43 successful applications! As a result, we have now split into a key stage 3 and key stage 4 team to drive forwards the agenda for student wellbeing in school. This just goes to show how important this aspect of student voice is to our students.
  • As part of our continued commitment to social, emotional & mental health (SEMH) support for students, we would like to welcome our new Student Wellbeing Practitioner to the pastoral team (starting in September). Our SWP will manage caseloads of students needing a little extra support with SEMH issues as well as facilitating a lunchtime drop-in sessions.
  • Mrs Wardell will also be taking on the role of Assistant Principal for Inclusion overseeing our fantastic internal alternative provision rooms (The Hive, The Bridge & The Key).
  • Over the next few months, the school will be continuing to demonstrate our commitment to health & wellbeing by submitting applications for the Healthy Schools Gold Award and the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS). We originally achieved the WAS in 2019, but this has reached the end of its 3-year lifespan and is now up for renewal. Students, staff, parents & carers have been given the opportunity to share their opinions on the school’s approach to wellbeing via an online survey. If you would like to have your say, and you haven’t already done so, the parent/carer form can be found here:

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APRIL 2022

Wellbeing GroupThe Selby High School Wellbeing Ambassadors To celebrate International Day of Happiness (20th March), and to coincide with our school Diversity Day, our fantastic team of Student Wellbeing Ambassadors decided they wanted to spread some Friday cheer. Every student was provided with a sweet treat and a joke as they came through the school gates. What a lovely idea and a great way to celebrate an international wellbeing calendar date! Well done!

Wellbeing in Mind Team

Find out more about the Wellbeing in Mind Team.

Strategy and Policies