Mental Health and Wellbeing for Students

Moat gives students a platform in which to manage their health and wellbeing. It provides a safe and inclusive environment for students to engage fully in their studies thus developing strong and supportive relationships. At Moat we want students to recognise the benefits and the impact health and wellbeing has on their academic studies and give them the tools they need to balance both.

Moat aims to prepare students with an education that prepares them academically and emotionally for the challenges they will face inside the classroom and the outside world.

Moat Mental Health First Aiders

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:

  • Help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • Give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
  • Provide emotional support and allow you to support others
  • There are plenty of different types of support out there, and a Mental Health First Aider can help you access them.
  • Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.
  • They are not therapists or psychiatrists, but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.

If you need help or have any questions about Mental Health First Aid please email: or talk to your tutor.

Are you worried about the Corona Virus?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while. It may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated.

It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

Get active

Exercise should be a regular part of your day, like brushing your teeth, eating, and sleeping.

It can be in gym class, joining a sports team, or working out on your own.

Your goal should be to do some type of exercise every day. It is best to do some kind of aerobic activity without stopping for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time.

Do the activity as often as possible, but don't exercise to the point of pain.

Keep these tips in mind:

Stay positive and have fun

A good mental attitude is important. Find an activity that you think is fun. You are more likely to keep with it if you choose something you like. A lot of people find it's more fun to exercise with someone else, so see if you can find a friend or family member to be active with you.

Take it one step at a time

Small changes can add up to better fitness. For example, walk or ride your bike to school or to a friend's house instead of getting a ride. Get on or off the bus several blocks away and walk the rest of the way. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.

Get your heart pumping

Whatever you choose, make sure it includes aerobic activity that makes you breathe harder and increases your heart rate. This is the best type of exercise because it increases your fitness level and makes your heart and lungs work better. It also burns off body fat. Examples of aerobic activities are basketball, running, or swimming.

Don't forget to warm up first

Do some easy exercises or mild stretching before you do any physical activity. This warms your muscles up and may help protect against injury. Stretching makes your muscles and joints more flexible too. It is also important to stretch out after you exercise to cool down your muscles.

Get at least 8 hours sleep

A minimum of 8 to 9 hours' good sleep on school nights is recommended for teens.

Here's how to make sure you're getting enough sleep to stay healthy and do well at school.

Find out more on the NHS website.

Limit screens in the bedroom

If possible, don't have a mobile, tablet, TV or computer in the bedroom at night, as the light from the screen interferes with sleep.

Having screens in the bedroom also means your teen is more likely to stay up late interacting with friends on social media.

Encourage your teenager to have at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before going to sleep.

Exercise for better sleep

It's official: regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, as well as improving your general health.

Teenagers should be aiming for at least 60 minutes' exercise every day, including aerobic activities such as fast walking and running.

Exercising out in daylight will help to encourage healthy sleep patterns, too.

Read more about how much exercise teenagers need.

Talk through any problems

Talk to your teenager about anything they're worried about. This will help them to put their problems into perspective and sleep better.

Read some advice on how to talk to your teenager.

You could also encourage them to jot down their worries or make a to-do list before they go to bed. This should mean they're less likely to lie awake worrying during the night.

Cut out the caffeine

Drink less caffeine – found in drinks such as cola, tea and coffee – particularly in the 4 hours before bed.

Too much caffeine can stop them falling asleep and reduce the amount of deep sleep they have.

Don't binge before bedtime

Let teenagers know that eating too much, or too little, close to bedtime can lead to an overfull or empty stomach. This can be a cause of discomfort during the night and may prevent sleep.

Have a good routine

Encourage your teenager to get into a regular bedtime routine. Doing the same things in the same order an hour or so before bed can help them drift off to sleep.

Use these bedtime routine tips.

Create a sleep-friendly bedroom

Ensure your teenager has a good sleeping environment – ideally a room that is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable.

It might be worth investing in thicker curtains or a blackout blind to help block out early summer mornings and light evenings.

Avoid long weekend lie-ins

Encourage your teen to not sleep in for hours at weekends. Late nights and long lie-ins can disrupt your body clock and leave you with weekend "jet lag" on Monday morning.

Try these simple lifestyle changes that improve sleep.

Eat healthy balanced meals

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.

Don't skip breakfast

Skipping meals won't help you lose weight and isn't good for you, because you can miss out on important nutrients. Having breakfast will help you get some of the vitamins and minerals you need for good health. Try some healthy breakfast ideas.

Make sure to Get your 5 A Day

Fruit and vegetables are good sources of many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs during your teenage years. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day.

Find out what counts as 5 A Day.

Swap to healthy snacks

Cut down on food and drinks high in calories, such as sweets, chocolate bars, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and crisps. Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and becoming overweight. Get tips on eating less sugar, fat and salt.

Stay hydrated - WATER IS BEST

Aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day – water and lower-fat milk are both healthy choices. Your total drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies shouldn't be more than 150ml (a small glass) a day; if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you'll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.

Get enough iron in your diet

Feeling tired?

If you often feel run down, you may be low on iron. Teenage girls are especially at risk because they lose iron during their period.

Try to get your iron from a variety of foods. Some good sources are red meat, breakfast cereals fortified with iron, and bread. Find out more in iron deficiency.

Read eatwell guide

By eating a varied and balanced diet as shown in the Eatwell Guide, you should be able to get all the energy and nutrients you need from the food and drink you consume, allowing your body to grow and develop properly. Some important nutrients to be aware of are:

  • iron
  • vitamin D
  • calcium

Essential vitamins and minerals

Vitamin D helps keep bones and teeth healthy. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, but it's also available in some foods. Find out more about getting vitamin D.

Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth. Good sources of calcium include milk and other dairy products, and leafy green vegetables. Find out more about calcium.

Fad diets

Diets that promise quick weight loss are often not nutritionally balanced, meaning you could miss out on important vitamins and minerals. They also tend to focus on short-term results, so you end up putting the weight back on.

Get tips on losing weight the healthy way from the National Health Service.

Eating disorders

Does eating make you feel anxious, guilty or upset? An eating disorder is serious and isn't something you should deal with on your own. Talk about it with someone you trust, there are treatments that can help, and you can recover from an eating disorder. Learn more about eating disorders.

Mindfulness meditiation

Mindfulness Meditation is a purposeful way of filling your mind with something that will help you relax as well as calming your body and mind. You can choose to focus on something such as your breathing, body parts or an image. Meditation works because it helps you replace your stressful thoughts and anxiety with something positive.

Why Meditate?

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and even depression.
  • Improves grades and performance on standardized tests.
  • Increases attention and concentration.
  • Changes the brain in ways that protect against mental illness and improve control over emotions.
  • Increases compassion and empathy.
  • Improves sleep.

Visit the mindfulness for teens site

Being a teen can be really stressful! Mindfulness is a powerful way to handle stress, and live life more fully. Mindfulness is all about living fully in the present moment, without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. It’s about breathing, noticing what’s happening right here and now, sending a gentle smile to whatever you’re experiencing in this moment (whether it’s easy or difficult), and then letting it go. You can be mindful anytime, anywhere, no matter what you’re doing. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to do, especially when you are stressed! The Mindfulness for Teens website provides information, tools, and resources to help you get started.

Useful resources


Free support services for young people delivered by qualified counsellors via online chat.

Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools

The Department for Education (DFE) developed this set of advice and practical tools to help schools promote pupil mental health, identify and support pupils with more severe needs and make appropriate referrals to specialist agencies where necessary.

Mental Health Foundation

UK charity dedicated to finding and addressing the sources of mental health issues. Includes information, research, resources and an invaluable A-Z of mental health terms


National charity providing information, advice and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone.


Free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults. Minded for Families has online advice and information from trusted sources and will help you to understand and identify early issues and best support your child. Also includes e-learning resources for professionals and volunteers.


A charity whose aim is to encourage, support and research the teaching of secular mindfulness in schools


MindUP | Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Program for Children

The learning programme for teachers and pupils based on positive psychology and mindfulness


The Mix - Essential support for under 25s

Tel: 0808 808 4994

A leading digital support service on a range of issues impacting young people’s wellbeing including mental health, money, homelessness, employment, relationships and drugs. An online chat and a crisis messenger is available on the site.


A curriculum to help schools develop resilient children who celebrate themselves and others, build positive relationships and thrive. Supports schools in creating a positive and growth orientated whole school culture.

Action for Happiness

A not-for-profit providing resources and evidence-based ideas for actions we can take to feel happier and help reduce and prevent mental ill health – personally, in our communities, workplaces and schools.

Anna Freud Centre

Tel: 0207 794 2313 | Email:

A children’s mental health charity providing specialist help, research and training for children, young people, families and schools.

Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH)

AYPH – Working to understand the health and wellbeing of young people

A charity and membership forum working to promote the health and wellbeing of 10-24 year olds.


A leading children’s charity which provides services, research and guidance on a range of issues concerning children’s wellbeing including child poverty, sexual exploitation, disability and domestic violence.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust

Awareness, information and resources for young people who are depressed, as well as training for families, schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and GPs.


Tel: 0800 1111

Counselling service for parents, children and young people, offering free and confidential help and advice. Also offers multilingual services to South Asian communities living in the UK. Languages include Bengali/ Sylheti, Gujurati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English.

Early Intervention Foundation

An independent charity and What Works Centre which champions and supports the use of effective early intervention for children with signals of risk

Family Links

Offers programmes for parents of children from -9months to 18+ providing adults and children with skills to lead emotionally healthy lives, build resilience, empathy, self-esteem and support positive relationships. Specialist programmes include parenting with Islamic Values, work with parents in prison and with parents of children with a disability or special needs.

Heads Together

A campaign to end mental health stigma spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Hub of Hope

A national database of organisations and charities of all sizes, enabling easy access to sources of mental health support and advice


Tel: 0207 923 5500 | Email:

Offers counselling support for young people in schools helping them to cope with wide-ranging and complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.

Reading Well Books on Prescription

A set of books about mental health for 13-18 years, available at local libraries. Provides advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.

Rethink Mental Illness

Tel: 300 5000 927 | Email:

National mental health membership charity working to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life. Provides services, information and support.

Rise Above for Schools

Resources for teaching PSHE curriculum topics to KS3 and KS4 pupils with flexible lesson plans, slide decks and video content. Covers a range of wellbeing topics including bullying and cyberbullying, alcohol, exam stress and body image.

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Readable and well-researched information about mental health with information for parents, teachers and young people.


Tel: 116 123 (any time) | Email:

A confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland. Available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

Student Minds

A charity working with students, service users, professionals and academics to develop new and innovative ways to improve the mental health of students. Offers information and support for students.


Tel: 0300 330 0630 (10am-10pm every day) | Email:

Confidential support and information for the lesbian, gay, bi, and trans community.

Time to Change

An anti-stigma campaign run by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Website includes resources for campaigning against mental health stigma and discrimination.

Winston’s Wish

Freephone helpline: 08088 020 021

Provides specialist child bereavement support services across the UK, including in-depth therapeutic help in individual, group and residential settings.


Tel: 0808 802 5544

A UK charity committed to improving emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers.