Student Health Support

Gavin Mather Border

Mr Gavin Mather
Student Well-being Leader

My role in school is to support students who cannot follow their usual timetable for one reason or another. This might be because of a bereavement; where students need 'time-out', or it might be because a student suffers from anxiety or a medical issue. Students can be referred to me for support which lasts a day or I can offer support for much longer periods! I work with Miss Netts, Mrs McKenna and Mrs Sword to make sure that students are referred into the right support that meets their needs. I also work alongside some external partner organisations to offer opportunities that enable student success; this might include a work placement or time spent working with our NUFC partners. In my spare time I also teach Geography and Social Studies and I am one of the safeguarding leads.

Miss Netts
School Counsellor

I'm Miss Netts and I provide a counselling service all day on a Monday and Wednesday and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Referrals are made by pastoral staff and I work closely with Mr Mather and Mrs McKenna to make sure students are referred into the right service. Counselling usually takes places in hourly sessions for 6 weeks.

Any parent/guardian queries about the counselling service should be directed to Mr Mather.

Miss Netts - Name Tag
Mrs McKenna

Mrs Trish McKenna
Learning Support and Counsellor

My job as an LSA is both challenging and rewarding. I spend time in different classrooms helping students understand the work teachers are setting them. I support in a wide range of subjects and my work can vary from solving maths problems to weighing out cooking ingredients to carrying out science practicals to reading a role in an English play. I also support Miss Netts offering counselling sessions in blocks of 6 to students who are referred by pastoral staff.

Mrs Beverley Sword

I help manage the Alternative Curriculum room in the Student Support Base with Mr Mather and as a mental health champion I offer drop in sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, period 7 as well as a referral service. Pastoral staff are able to make referrals.

Mrs Sword - Name Tag

Support for families outside of school during the summer holidays

We are here to offer advice to young people and their families but sometimes services and agencies outside of school can better meet your needs. 

Here are some information and links that might be of help.

How To Maintain Good Mental Wellbeing

Wellbeing is about being able to experience good health, happiness and high life satisfaction, including managing your stress. It's not always easy to find the right strategies to establish and maintain your wellbeing. Often the most successful methods are unique to you and ones that can be consistently applies for instance, every week.


Top Tips for all:

  • Minset & Thoughts
    Sometimes, we can only see the problems and challenges. Try to take a few moments every day to reflect. Perhaps through writing in a journal or spending five minutes in the morning to notice something we can be thankful for and feel positive about.
  • Keep Physically Active
    Studies show that there is approximately 20-30% lower risk of depression for adults participating in daily physical activity. Try to follow a series of fitness videos online or, if you prefer, go out for a walk each day. Even if you can't find time during the week, carve out time at the weekend. Many people find that just the connection with outdoors and being able to walk in an open / green space helps to 'reset' their mind and wellbeing for the day.
  • Positive Thoughts
    When your thoughts are overwhelmingly negative, we can find it hard to find headspace to think positively. Try this… imagine you are sat on top of a hill and you are looking down at a train track below where trains are coming and going.Now imagine the trains are your thoughts. Watch them come and go, but don’t get on the train. Just watch the thoughts come and go in your mind without actually following the negative ones down an unhelpful/negative track just watch it pass!
  • Good Quality Sleep
    If your mind feels full up or your emotions are overwhelming,you will find it hard to enjoy a goods night’s sleep. There are lots of free meditation and soothing sound videos on YouTube (waves, rain, calming music). Or find a podcast which is funny or humorous. Write your thoughts down on a pad or create a ‘to do’ list. Then put the pad out of sight until the morning. Deep breathing for at least 3 minutes can also help, in slowly through your nose and out slowly through your through your mouth.
  • Eat Well
  • A 2014 study found high levels of wellbeing were reported by individuals who are more fruit and vegetables. The key to alancing eating well with a busy family life is to plan ahead. If you can plan weekend meals and buy the ingredients ahead of time this reduces the number of 'ast minute' unhealth meals.
  • Accepting Help
    We must be able to lean on others when necessary.It is unreasonable for us to assume we will never need help throughout our life. This means accepting help which may be volunteered or asking when the need arises. The help could be through a friend, relative or service you trust, including national helplines.
  • Doing Good Does You Good
    There is a strong relationship between wellbeing and compassion. Doing good can help lower stress levels and improve your wellbeing and mental health. However, this can also work the other way and you should always ansure that you are not helpong otheres at the cost of your own wellbeing.
  • Stay Connected
    Higher rates of mental health problems,such as depression and anxiety, are associated with loneliness and social isolation. Often socialising with others can feel like a lot of effort in the evening when we’re tired. However, healthy relationships and connections to others have a significant impact on maintaining good wellbeing. Using video calls, live streaming or ‘Facetiming’ is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family if you’re feeling isolated. If you prefer calling,pick up the phone for a chat.Maintaining good relationships helps to set a good example for children, as they notice and imitate the behaviour and emotions of those around them.


For further information, check out these resources:


*These tips are from The National College Wellbeing Poster. Download our Mental Wellbeing poster below. 

Covid-19 Student/Parent Handbook.


You can download the student/parent handbook here;


Student Health Support Available