mental health support

why we need to support students with their mental health issues

girl receiving counselling

We are seeing an increasing number of our guardianship students coming forward to tell us or someone at school that they are struggling and need help. Sometimes it is our host families and Local Coordinators who notice a worrying change in a student who they are in contact with regularly and we report that back to schools. Situations can escalate quickly and become urgent and students sometimes need medical advice and intervention. In these situations, schools cannot always help students in the boarding house and having sought medical advice asking us to step in and give our support.

Students can be struggling with issues such as depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), personality and mood disorders,behavioural diagnosis (ADHD) or mental neurological and substance use disorders (psychosis).

training and supervision

Bright World staff in training room

Training

We want to help and make a difference but feel we need to learn more about Mental Health problems for young people so we are better equipped to support our students. With this in mind, our Head Office, some Local Coordinators and Host Families receive regular training so they feel more confident and able to help.

We have developed a bespoke training programme from expert Kate Day, KRD Training specifically with international students at UK boarding schools in mind. This project continues to grow and develop and training is regular and ongoing.

Trained members of the Bright World Team are called Bright World Mental Health Champions and are regularly involved in updates and additional training.

Our Mental Health Host Families receive specialist guidance from KRD on how to support students they are hosting who have mental health issues. We know we can call on this network of families to help us in situations where students need a period of time away from school. These dedicated host families feel ready and prepared to offer the extra support required.

Supervision

To ensure that we are keeping up to date with our training and can continue to learn best practise, the Bright World team has regular Supervision Feedback and Lessons Learned sessions with Mental Health Expert, Kate Day of KRD Training.

Bright World is an Organisational Member of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society

NCPS organisational member logo

Bright World achieved organisational membership with the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) in 2023. Our Mental Health Champion Initiative was instrumental in gaining this new recognition.

Founded in 1999, The NCPS plays an important role in campaigning for better mental health provision in the UK. The Society's 'Access to Counselling for Every Child' campaign, seeks to make counselling and support more accessible to children and young people. In addition, NCPS promotes accredited counselling services via their Counselling Directory.

As an Organisational Member, Bright World benefits from advice and support from trained Mental Health professionals.

when and how Bright World can assist

students in the garden

low level concerns

If a student's mental health issue is mild and does not affect them on a daily basis and they are not at serious risk of harm to themselves or others, then time away from school for a change of scenery and some rest and recuperation in a home environment can really help. A school counsellor may recommend to overseas parents and guardians that they might be able to support in these instances. Over the years, Bright World has seen some excellent outcomes from this approach with students then being able to return to school refreshed and able to cope with the rest of the school year. If we can help then we really want to.

on the advice of a Medical Professional

If the mental health of a child is more serious, they initially need to be referred to a medical professional. If they are at school, the school has a duty of care to arrange that appointment. If they are under our care in a host family then we take on that responsibility. This may be a routine appointment with the school or host family's GP (Doctor) or, if more urgent, the child should be taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of the nearest hospital. That medical professional will assess the child and make a decision on the best course of action. If the advice is that they should not return to school but would be safe in a host family, then we will help. If they do not recommend that, then obviously we would not be able to arrange this.

with the agreement of the child

It is always important to give the child or young person in question a voice. If they say they want to go to a host family then we will help them. Sometimes they are very strongly against leaving school and their feelings must be taken into consideration.

with the knowledge and agreement of the parents or legal guardian

We are guardians and can act on behalf of parents but we do not replace an overseas parent. It is important that the parents are kept fully informed about the situation and we will always seek their permission to act on their behalf in serious circumstances.

what help can we offer?

  • Time in a host family - we will aim to place the student with a Mental Health Champion Host Family
  • Attendance at school for any pastoral meetings to support the child and on behalf of the parents
  • Attendance at medical appointments where the school requests support

meet our Mental Health Champions

Lana Foster

Lana Foster

Managing Director

Based at our Head Office, Lana created our Mental Health initative and continues to develop it as we learn more about our students' needs.

Robbie Piper

Robbie Piper

Senior Guardianship Care Manager, DSL, Mental Health Lead

Based at our Head Office, Robbie works closely with schools, our champions and our students to help resolve issues and support students.

Su Warren

Su Warren

Director of Guardianships

Based and our Head Office, Su oversees the running of our Guardianship Department and therefore is always involved in any issues relating to students and their mental health.

Alyson Davenport-White

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Shropshire

Dororthy Rourke

Dorothy Rourke

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Scotland

Jalpa Lai

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for London

Lauren Platt

Lauren Platt

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Lancashire

Lindsay Gayler

Lindsay Gayler

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Sussex

Lisa Archibold

Lisa Archibold

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Wiltshire

Loreta Vilkyte

Loreta Vilkyte

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for York

Lorna Astbury

Lorna Astbury

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Kent

Martyn Pape

Martyn Pape

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Dorset and Somerset

Michelle Caston

Michelle Caston

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for South Wales

Rebecca Warboys

Rebecca Warboys

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for York

Sarah Bozier

Sarah Bozier

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for East Anglia

Angela Greasley

Angela Greasley

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for Cumbria

Lisa McGowan

Lisa McGowan

Mental Health Champion

Local Coordinator for North Wiltshire