UPPER Wharfedale School’s work to protect students’ mental health has been recognised with a national award.

The school is the first maintained secondary school in North Yorkshire to have been commended for their focus on student and staff wellbeing and has been awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.

Assistant head teacher Helen Mukherjee said it was a ‘proud’ achievement but added: “Achieving recognition of this type is very pleasing we will continue to find even more ways in which we can to continue to support our young people moving forward.

“Mental health is something close to all our hearts and I think the work we do is extremely important. I hope it makes a difference to both our students and staff.”

Liz Dawson assessor for the Carnegie Centre of Excellence in Schools Mental Health in Schools Award added: “Upper Wharfedale is a family orientated small community school where every child is known. It has a nurturing aspect and students know that they can ask for help from anyone.”

The School Mental Health Award framework has enabled the school to focus on what was being done and areas for development. The assessment found that stigma around mental health and wellbeing has been ‘completely reduced’.”