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Student Mental Health

Looking after your mental health is really important.  You may need someone to listen to you.  You may also need guidance to support you in a situation, or enable you to offer advice to a friend. 

If there is anything which is concerning you, whether it is school related or not, we encourage you to email the Safeguarding Team at  There are many ways that we support student mental health at Willingdon and this page also has links to useful resources.

Mindfulness at Willingdon Community School

What is Mindfulness?

At its core, Mindfulness is being able to direct your attention into the present moment. Many a time our thoughts are lurking in the past or fixated on the future. Mindfulness allows you to regain that attention and focus it on the present moment. Mindfulness can allow you to be more effective, think more clearly, bring a calmness to the mind and settle your thoughts. Mindfulness can bring a less anxious way of being and can bring improved performance in the classroom as well as in sports and music.

Mindfulness involves directing our attention in a more focused way by use of meditation practices. It allows us to focus on sensations within the body, our breath and connection points. It really enables us to calm the mind and rationalise our thoughts. Mindfulness isn’t just for coping with adversities that may have happened, happening or indeed about to happen. Mindfulness can help us savour and nourish the good around us, let it soak into our bones absorbing the goodness.

Is practising Mindfulness difficult?

At first the mind wanders constantly, Mindfulness will not bring a clear mind but with practice it can allows us to sustain our focus and attention directing it more skilfully on what is happening around us. It can help break the grip of unwanted thoughts, judgments, habits and impulses making way for a calmer mind. Mindfulness can cultivate a kinder way of thinking about the aspects of our life. However, it does take concerted practice!

What is .b? How can it help your child?

.b is a ten-session Mindfulness course taught here at Willingdon Community School aimed at young people. .b aims to gives life skills to students who study the course. Students use it to…

·         To feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled

·         To get on better with others

·         To help them concentrate and learn better

·         To help cope with stress and anxiety

·         To perform better music and sport.

Students will have an Introduction session to Mindfulness over two lessons followed by nine sessions:

These sessions are designed to make the best we can of our precious mind.

·         Everything you see

·         Everything you hear

·         Everything you taste, smell, touch, feel.

·         Everything you experience is filtered through your mind.

At the end of the course, students will gain a certificate of attendance as well as picking up a valuable life skill.

Who teaches Mindfulness?

.b teachers initially undertake a rigorous 8 week .b foundation course. This is followed by 6 months of developing daily Mindfulness practices within their own life. A sign up to ‘Teach. b’ is then granted which gives the skills, confidence and materials to teach. b effectively. Only certified trainers can teach the. b curriculum.

Mindfulness in Schools Project

MiSP are a charity based organisation being the most established provider of mindfulness training for schools, delivering world-leading curricula for classroom-based mindfulness. Materials are based on rigorous research in clinical psychology and neuroscience, written by teachers for teachers, and used successfully in a wide range of educational contexts.

Full ongoing support giving the most up to date research, CPD, teaching surgeries ensure students are always get the best teaching available from. b teachers.

Teaching Mindfulness at Willingdon Community School.

Mindfulness has given me an awareness of life as it unfolds and to be able to teach students at Willingdon Community School the .b curriculum is an absolute joy and pleasure. The feedback is as rewarding as is the impact it can have upon students’ lives.

Students are eager to report how much the .b lessons really help with day to day life. From mindfully eating, moving and sleeping! The lessons are backed up by access to a wonderful online resource that takes students through lesson animations and guided meditation practices that they would have studied in the classroom.

Willingdon is the only school within Eastbourne currently offering Mindfulness by way of the .b curriculum. I am extremely honoured to be one of a handful of .b trained teachers in Sussex.

If you have any questions related to Mindfulness, please feel free to email myself

Warmest of wishes

Alyson Burton 

The following resources can help support your mental health.

e-wellbeing is a digital wellbeing service for young people, run by YMCA DownsLink Group. Our aim is for all young people to be able to access the right support and information around their emotional health and wellbeing, in the right place, at a time that is right for them.

This website is for young people who live in Sussex (including Brighton & Hove.) We hope to branch out to more areas soon!

We understand that accessing support around your mental health can be confusing and complicated sometimes. We’re here to help you understand a bit more about how to be mentally healthy and how to connect to support across Sussex.

You can make a start by taking our short quiz on the homepage.

If you need urgent support around your mental health, please click here.

And if you'd like to get in touch about anything else, send us email:

East Sussex School Health 

East Sussex School Health have a confidential texting service for students aged 11 – 19 in East Sussex, monitored Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.  Phone 07507 332473.  School Nurse drop-in sessions will resume soon after the Spring break.

Teenage Helpline - Support and advice for young people

East Sussex School Health

Beat Eating Disorders

NHS Mental Health Apps

Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families

Place2b - Improving Children's Mental Health

Counselling & Support Services


Young Minds are the UK’s leading charity, supporting children and young people’s mental health.  Find Coronavirus advice and support and resources, relating to anxiety, low self-esteem, drugs and alcohol, being a young carer and many other areas where young people may need support.

YoungMinds on Twitter -

YoungMinds crisis messenger - Text YM to 85258 if you need to talk to someone right now.

Visit the Young Minds Website 

Our A-Z guide gives you advice on how to help your child with their feelings and behaviour, as well as mental health conditions and life events. We'll also show you where you can get help.

A-Z Guide


Barnardo’s offer support with issues such as:-

  • Employment, training and skills

  • Homelessness

  • LGBTQ young people

Visit the Barnardos Website 


The NSPCC offer support and advice for parents and carers, about how they can best support and protect children and young people.  They offer support with mental health, sexuality and sexual orientation, social media advice and many other topics.

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000

Visit the NSPCC Website 


i-rock is a drop in counselling and advice service for young people aged between 14 – 25. Open Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11am – 6pm.
i-rock Eastbourne, Greencoat House, 32 St Leonard’s Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3UT

You don’t have to be sent to see us by a doctor or teacher, you can just pop in. It doesn’t matter how big or small your problem is, we’ll do our best to help you. i-Rock is a drop-in, so you can just turn up when you’re free, but if you’d like to book an appointment you can do so online.

Currently due to the new social distancing rules we have had to temporarily close our i-Rock sites, however we are now offering virtual appointments via your smart phone as well as support via telephone and email. Please contact us via the email links on our Facebook pages to arrange contact with one of our team.

Also, check out our Instagram page, (irockeastsussex) where you will find tips on keeping yourself well and an Instagram live session on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4.30pm. 

i-Rock Eastbourne Facebook page -

If you would be interested in accessing a telephone triage please enquire at

Visit the i-Rock Website 


e-motion is a free online counselling project for young people aged 12 – 18, who live in East Sussex. You can communicate confidentially with a trained counsellor via email, or live messaging.

Visit the E-MOTION Website 


You can talk to us about anything. No problem is too big or too small.  Call us free on 0800 1111 or get in touch online

Contact us, you are in control. It’s confidential, and you do not have to give your name if you don’t want to. 

Visit the Childline Website 


Chat Health is a confidential texting service for young people aged 11 – 19. Young people can text the school health team about any concerns or health issues on 07507 332473.


We offer counselling in Newhaven, Lewes, Hailsham and Eastbourne, to anyone aged 16 years and above. We offer an initial introductory session where you can ask questions and tell us a little about why you would like counselling. 

A self-referral form can be found on

Visit the Sussex Community Website 


Our School Nurse will drop into school every other week.  You can confidentially discuss any health issue with her. She can give advice, support and guidance on both mental and physical health, and you can speak to her just once, or talk to her regularly.  Details on when the School Nurse is available will be given out by your tutor in September.


CHILD BEREAVEMENT UK - Rebuilding Lives Together

Call our Helpline: 0800 02 888 40

Child Bereavement UK on Twitter -  (@cbukhelp)

Our vision is for all families to have the support they need to rebuild their lives, when a child grieves or when a child dies.

Visit the childbereavementuk website 


The Seahorse Project – Offering bereavement support for children and young people.

Telephone: 01323 434200 

Visit the St Wilfrid's Hospice Website 

DRAGONFLIES - Bereavement Support

Dragonflies offer families, children and young people a safe space to share their feelings and experiences, and provides creative and therapeutic activities alongside group discussion. For children aged 5-18 years, a series of peer group sessions are delivered by trained staff and volunteers across Hastings, Rother and Eastbourne areas. The project offers one to one counselling for young people aged 15 years plus, and early years support for children aged 5 years and under. 

Visit the Dragonflies Website 


Fegans aim to provide families most in need of parenting or therapeutic support with the care they require to become self-sufficient contributors to society and break generational cycles of behaviour. They provide a full range of professional counselling services in their centres and also in primary and secondary school for children as well as support workers that work with parents.

Visit Fegans Website


-          Works with young people aged 11-25 years

-          Aim to fully prepare young people for their future with good prospects, opportunities and social skills

-          Provides youth work, support services and opportunities for young people in the local area

-          Includes and accommodates the Square Youth Café and infopoint facilities

Visit the Hailsham Youth Service Website


Brighton and Hove, Hastings AND Eastbourne

In 2012 YMCA Dialogue counselling services were accredited by The British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy

 Issues including

  • Difficulties with parents, family, friends, partners or someone else

  • Sadness, depression, unhappiness – maybe life does not seem worth living

  • Anger, outbursts, or being violent causing concern to those around them

  • Worries about school, college or work

  • Concerns about sex or sexuality

  • Alcohol, using drugs, using legal highs

  • Someone close has died or is very ill

  • Experience of abuse whether sexual, physical, emotional

  • Self harm

Visit the YMCA Counselling Service Website

Free apps endorsed by the NHS

DISTRACT APP: The FREE distrACT app gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The content has been created by doctors and experts in self-harming and suicide prevention.

CALM HARM APP: Calm Harm is a FREE app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm.  Its private and password protected.

Other useful contact details:

Police: 101 or email: (In case of emergency dial 999)

SPOA (Single Point of Advice – Children’s Services): 01323 464222 or email:

Domestic Abuse: The Portal, Helpline: 0300 3239985

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services): 01323 446070 or email:

Eastbourne Foodbank: 01323 409925, email:

Samaritans: if you need urgent mental health support, dial 116 123, where you can speak confidentially to a non-judgemental, empathic trained person who can offer you immediate help.

Please look after your Mental Health - Every Mind Matters!

With best wishes

The WCS Safeguarding Team

Willingdon Community School Safeguarding Team:

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