guardianship and mental health - how we are supporting our students

Season 2: Ep 3: Let's talk about mental health

bright sounds podcast

Lia and Louis are joined by Bright World Director of Safeguarding & Operations, Jenny Rumble, and Local Coordinator, Sarah Bozier, to discuss how Bright World is supporting their students upon their less than normal return to school, particularly in terms of their mental health and wellbeing. 

a less than ordinary transition

mask and sanitiser on desk

The physical health of our overseas students has certainly been under the spotlight recently but what about their mental health? Here's how we, as guardians, have supported them so far as they make the less than ordinary transition back into education.

arrival care meetings - an independent ear

student on zoom

As schools and students adapt to a new way of teaching this year, guardianship has had to adapt also.

At this time of year, our Local Coordinators would normally have just finished visiting all their students upon arrival in the UK. This year, however, things have been very different.

Instead of meeting with students in person, our Buddies have been conducting "virtual visits" by skype and zoom. Arrival Care visits have such a positive effect on issues such as homesickness and wellbeing. These check-ins are vital for safeguarding and so we have been thrilled to hear that students have been reacting so positively, despite them taking place virtually this year, as our Local Coordinator Sarah Bozier explains.

Whilst carrying out a virtual visit with one of our younger students, she revealed how homesick she felt. Once we had talked about how normal that was and what might help, she told me she would try out some of my suggestions. I messaged her each day so she could tell me her news and by the end of the first week she had settled and assured me that school felt like home now.
Sarah Bozier, Bright World Local Coordinator

a friendly face - even with a mask

In some cases, such as when a student is struggling with their mental health, our Local Coordinators are able to make a personal visit to school, providing they abide by Covid safety guidelines. Even with a mask a friendly face goes a long way.

Sometimes schools request pastoral visits to check on a student's wellbeing, if they think they are struggling with their mental health. The schools I work with are all very supportive but it does help for students to speak to someone who is independent from the school. I recently visited one of my students who has been struggling and I feel I was able to really make a difference.
Inna Sheppard, Bright World Local Coordinator

Bright World's Mental Health Initiative

happy student

Launched in August 2019, Bright World's Mental Health Initiative addresses the need for students to have a team of trained and supportive people at Bright World who they can access at any time. This initiative is not designed to replace professional mental health treatment or counselling, but rather to ensure that our staff are confident and capable of recognising and supporting students in crisis, whilst also being able to signpost them to the appropriate services when necessary.

As part of this initiative, selected members of the Head Office and Local Coordinator team are set to become qualified Bright World "Mental Health Champions". Some of these Local Coordinators will also be "Safe Place" hosts, in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students, away from school. These individuals will all receive training so that they are best placed to care for any students experiencing severe issues.


Hello Yellow logo

Hello Yellow is a campaign run by YoungMinds - an organisation which aims to support young people and their mental health. Hello Yellow is a fundraising event that is taking place this Friday, 9th October, and this is to coincide with World Mental Health Day. The idea is for schools and offices to encourage everyone to wear something yellow in order to raise funds and awareness for young people’s mental health. Bright World head office will be all be donning bright yellow on Friday and having a meet up on zoom to support this great cause. Some useful resources from the charity will also be sent to all of our guardianship students.  

our Stay Safe film

stay safe film

As well as sending all of our students' resources from YoungMinds, we will also be sending students them our very own Stay Safe film. This short film aims to ensure the safety of our students in a both a physical and mental capacity, during this pandemic. It not only features tips and best practices on how to stay Covid-free, but also aims to help them stay in a positive headspace. Students will be reminded of the rules and regulations in effect in the UK, so they can continue to behave responsibly and keep themselves and those around them safe. The video should also help them to feel reassured by the extra measures that Bright World has put in place.

You can view our Stay Safe film below.

#StaySafe with Bright World Guardianships

need support?

Young Minds logo

If you require any support or guidance concerning your mental health, or you know somebody else who does, please visit the Young Minds website via the button below. Here you will find lots of useful advice and resources, and can receive instant support from a specialist, if required.