Pupil Wellbeing and Mental Health: SLA Guideline

Barbara Band

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The best way to introduce this publication is with an excerpt from the foreword, written by Stephen Buckley of Mind:

"Mind’s own work with school-age children (2) has demonstrated the importance of having a “trusted adult” in the school environment: someone able to demonstrate empathy, and someone who understands mental health from a young person’s point of view.

As importantly, school-age children want to receive support that is staff initiated, rather than needing to request it. As Barbara points out, the pastoral role that school librarians inhabit can be one which is pivotal in appropriately supporting children to understand more about their mental health, and how to seek help when needed. This guide will help you do just that."

About the book:

An often unseen role of a school library is to support the mental health and wellbeing of students, both through the provision of resources, and a space where they can be themselves and recharge.

While school staff are not expected to replace professional help or to fulfil the role of counsellors, it is important that they understand the factors that impact on mental health and wellbeing, how certain circumstances can increase stress and anxiety, and how to support students who are struggling.

This publication looks at why some students experience problems and gives guidance on how school staff can provide assistance together with suggested lists of books and related online resources for primary and secondary. 


18th September 2020. ISBN 978-1-911222-25-5.

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Barbara Band
Barbara Band is a qualified Chartered Librarian. After working for over thirty years as a school librarian, she now offers support, advice and training as a school library, reading and literacy consultant; not being tied to the 9–5 routine enables her to undertake several voluntary roles advocating for and promoting school libraries. In addition to writing several SLA publications, she regularly blogs for professional journals and also has her own blog. When not ‘flying the flag’ for libraries, she can be found knitting, travelling, occasionally painting, taking photos or introducing her grandchildren to her favourite authors and illustrators! 

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