Student Working

Let’s Talk Zone

At Ossett Academy, students’ positive mental health and well-being is a priority each and every day. In fact, we were one of the first academies, regionally, to employ a Mental Health Practitioner, based in our ‘Let’s Talk Zone’ – our purpose-built, nurturing environment for students who require additional emotional support.

Our Mental Health Practitioner, Miss Gaskell, works with students who are struggling with their emotional and mental health for a variety of reasons, including students who are self-harming, have suffered a bereavement, have low self-esteem or confidence, or who may be struggling with exam stress or anxiety.

How to access support

A student who feels they would benefit from emotional and mental health intervention, support or advice, should first talk to their Pastoral Year Leader, who can determine the appropriate referral for their individual needs.

Once a referral has been made to the Let’s Talk Zone, Miss Gaskell will work with the student, assessing the most appropriate support; this could be group work or one to one support, support from the School Nursing Team as part of Healthy Young People’s offer, or by signposting to external support services for young people (some of which are listed below).

The Let’s Talk Zone runs student support groups, for example; LGBT+, exam stress and anxiety, self-esteem and confidence. There is also a daily drop-in at break and lunch, open to all students who feel they need a place to be, or people to talk to – they can get that every day just by dropping in. Parents also benefit directly from the provision through regular parent workshops.

Miss Gaskell said “We know that mental ill-health doesn’t discriminate – problems can affect anyone, at any point in their life. My role is to assess and support some of our more vulnerable students, to ensure they access the appropriate level of support to meet their needs.

“Alongside this, we recognise the importance of promoting and advocating positive mental health and taking ownership of our own well-being, which can change from day to day. We’re also working to redress the stigma that surrounds mental health, through raising people’s understanding of it. Although this is something we do daily, this important, global day is a fantastic opportunity to let people know what we do, and to hopefully go one step further in changing any negative perceptions that can still exist around the subject of mental health.

“Whilst this provision is in place we also have lots more to do to build even more support in to the offer we have. We encourage the whole Ossett Academy community to be a part of this.”

Further information, advice and support

Additional support or information can be sought from the following organisations (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):


Bullying Helpline

0845 22 55 787


Bullying UK

0808 800 2222


Calm Harm App





0800 1111



0808 1000 143




Mermaids UK

0344 334 0550



0808 800 5000



0800 068 4141



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