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MP for Streatham visits Place2Be partner school Harris Academy Clapham

During Children’s Mental Health Week 2022, Harris Academy Clapham and Place2Be hosted a special visit for Streatham MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP. Bell was keen to learn more about the impact of having mental health support embedded within the school environment.

Streatham MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP with Principal Gizle Landman and dog Mabel outside the school gate

Bell’s visit started off with a discussion involving the academy’s Principal Gizle Landman, Place2Be Mental Health Practitioner Julia, and Place2Be’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Sally.

Bell then had a tour of the school, including the Place2Be therapy room and the Place2Be postboxes, where pupils can self-refer for support. Julia explained that friendships and anger are some of the issues most commonly raised by pupils in drop-in sessions. Gizle explained the importance of building emotional resilience skills in pupils and having on-site expert support.

Streatham MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP sitting in classroom talking with school council pupils

Bell’s visit ended with an insightful discussion with four members of the school council. The pupils discussed the following issues with Bell:

  • Stress and uncertainty associated with lockdowns
  • Financial challenges at home
  • Issues with digital connectivity and devices during lockdowns
  • Impact of restrictions on social and community interactions
  • Importance of having someone to talk to
  • Recognising that it’s okay to feel stressed and to need a break
  • Importance of face-to-face in person support, rather than talking to someone through a screen

Pupils came up with a new idea of adding an extra Place2Be postbox in a more private place for pupils who might be embarrassed or shy about referring themselves to Place2Be.

Bell was supportive of Place2Be’s approach at Harris Academy Clapham, and spoke about the importance of early support, to avoid issues escalating and to reduce the strain on other sectors such as the NHS and the prison service.

Bell in the Place2Be therapy room with Mental Health Practitioner Julia

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