Who should follow up with students?

There are two reasons why you would want to follow up with students after looking at the wellbeing data. Having assessed the wellbeing data, you will be able to see if a student has reached out for help, or if they are feeling negative, or positive. So, you will either be following up with students to help them with their negative feelings or to celebrate their positive feelings.

In all instances it should be someone who the student feels comfortable with, and/or someone who has direct responsibility for their welfare.

If they formally reach out for help, the student will have chosen a staff member that they would like to talk to. Therefore, this is the person who should approach them in a discreet way. Here are some things to remember (with thanks to Valorie O’Keefe, Consultant Psychologist at Pearson Clinical for these notes):

  • It is because they trust you
  • Listen without asking too many questions at first or interrupting them
  • Try to give them your full attention
  • Try not to minimise their feelings, thoughts, or situation
  • Try not to jump to conclusions or judge
  • Thank the student for sharing with you, and acknowledge that you understand that it can be hard to ask for help:
    • “I can tell that asking me for help was really difficult for you.
    • "That was a brave thing to do. You’ve done the right thing. Let’s figure out what we can do as a next step.”
  • Encourage them to seek additional help if needed, or offer to go with them to see a school wellbeing team member.

If the student hasn't formally asked for help but you can see that they are consistently registering that they feel negative, you could either ask them discreetly if there is anything they need help with, or, if this seems too forward and the relationship doesn't exist yet, you could address their whole class and say something like:

"If anyone is finding that they are often checking in with negative feelings, please remember that I am here and am happy to talk with you or direct you to help. Feel free to email me if that's easier."

Conversely, you could address the same group and tell them you've noticed some/a lot of them are checking in positively, and ask if anyone would like to share something great that is happening in their lives at the moment. If that is too confronting, you could just ask them to tell the person next to them something they are grateful for.

This all serves to show the students that you care and that you are using the data constantly so that they know it is worth doing.


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