Making classrooms a space in which the mental health of children and young people is both understood and supported whilst ensuring education professionals can commit to doing no harm to the mental well being of their pupils.
We are increasingly aware of the challenges and problems children and young people are experiencing with their mental health and although it is not the responsibility of educational professionals to cure, prevent or respond to mental illness, we do not to be aware of the impact our education environment has on the mental health of our pupils.
At Phoenix Education, we believe in the notion of neurofriendly teaching. 'Neurophobia', in a similar vein to racism and homophobia is described as the judgement and discrimination of and against people with mental health problems or illness. In comparison, Neurofriendly approaches understand, embrace and support neurodiversity, mental health challenges and mental illness.
We practice 3 core principles and help our clients embed them into their schools, and one to one relationships through consultancy, coaching and mentoring programmes.
At Phoenix Education Consultancy, we believe that if you want your pupils to demonstrate kindness, you must lead by example and create a culture where being kind is not only cool but also expected. For us, kindness is about understanding the everyone is unique and embracing their individuality. When we say this we don't just mean the diversity we can see but all the differences we can't; that people think differently, that people find different things stressful, that people have different emotional reactions to a whole variety of things. Kindness is about giving people permission to be themselves; the space to express their emotions and an understanding that how we feel today may not be how we feel tomorrow. Kindness is able not always being able to understand someone's thinking but still being understanding of their emotion and kindness is about seeing a whole person rather than just a pupil who needs to pass exams.
The team at Phoenix Education Consultancy understand that there are times when speaking about mental health needs to be in both confidence and private. However, there shouldn't be any sense of shame, stigma or secrecy attached to talking about mental well being either generally or specifically.
Normalising conversations about our emotions, our feelings, our coping mechanisms and mindfulness, helps us better understand the mental well being of our pupils and prevent the quiet escalation of mental health problems or illness. The team of consultants, coaches and mentors at Phoenix, help normalise and facilitate mental health discussions in primary and secondary schools and classrooms.
Increasing numbers of children and young people are experiencing problematic mental health and severe mental illness which can impact their behaviour, attainment and ultimately, their ability to successfully engage in education. It is important that educational professionals understand where their responsibility starts and ends; working with other professionals appropriately to provide the very best care and support available. At Phoenix Education, we believe that teachers and other educators should be able to effectively identify when their pupils are unwell; where there is a need for a medical intervention rather than just support. Educators must be able to nurture pupils that are struggling with their mental health rather than punish them and we must understand the root causes of behaviour rather than simply control it. We think it is also important that our classrooms create a culture where it is okay to have problematic periods without judgement, discrimiination, labelling or limitation.