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Wellbeing means how we think about ourselves, our feelings and our lives.


This can mean feeling comfortable, healthy, positive, or happy. However there are times we may not feel this way for many reasons. At these times we may choose to look for help and support.

Below is a list of areas that may help or signpost you to the correct route for guidance and support. Varndean School is not affiliated with, nor recommending, any specific services or organisations, rather we are aiming to signpost to information and organisations that may be able to offer help or support and outline what is available. 

Click here to find all the services that Brighton and Hove have to offer.

Please see below for all information on accessing the School Nursing Team over the holidays:



If someone important to you has just died, or you have just found out they are very seriously ill you may need help dealing with feelings and family situations. Below are some links to websites that may be helpful.

Cruse Bereavement Care
Support for children and young people following bereavement.

Winston's Wish
This site is for young people like you, who know exactly what it is like to have someone important to them die.

Child Bereavement UK
If someone important to you has just died, or you have just found out they are very seriously ill, you are not alone and you can get help and support.


Bullying incidents are taken very seriously at Varndean School. We firmly believe that every student has the right to feel safe and happy within the school environment.

Remember what we mean by bullying?

Intentionally hurting another individual/group either emotionally or physically.

Sometimes these acts can be carried out through the use of technology and are referred to as cyber bullying. 

Varndean's Online Safety page on the website is packed with suggestions, tips and places to go to for help.

With advice and practical skills to learn on how to deal with bullying.​

If you are worried about anything, it could be something big or something small, don't bottle it up. It can really help if you talk to someone.

Bullying UK
With general and specific advice on all types of bullying.

Connect Safely
Connect Safely is everyone engaged in and interested in the impact of social media and mobile technology. You will find tips, safety advice and other resources to promote safe, effective use of technology.

Brighton & Hove City Council
The BHCC website gives information and help for dealing with bullying in school.

Chat Health School Nurse 

Poster advertising Chat HealthChat Health is a text-based service connecting you directly with your school nurse. If you wish you can remain anonymous while gaining valuable information or advice about a wide range of topics. 

Chat Health on 07480 635423

This is an additional service to the in-school drop-in sessions run weekly, where you can meet with a nurse face to face. 

Contact Information - Help at School

If you have any concerns and need support or you are concerned about friends please email your school base, it will be treated confidentially.

Lennox School: 
Angelou School:
Russell School:
Turing School:
Ellis School:

The school counsellor also runs drop-in sessions for advice every break and lunch time and can be found opposite Russell School base near D8.


Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to parents, friends or teachers about things that are making us anxious. A counsellor is someone who you can talk to in a different way, someone who will listen to you very carefully, who will not judge you or tell you what to do.
Counselling is about helping you to work things out for yourself, making decisions and choices and helping you to look at things differently. It can help you to feel better about yourself.
You can meet the school counsellor,  Luke Palmer, during drop-in and break and lunch and see how you feel. This is an informal talk which allows you to meet the counsellor and ask any questions you have about counselling. Counselling is voluntary. You have the choice to come or not.
During the drop in, it is important to know that specific and personal queries are best dealt with in a session. During therapy, what you talk about is confidential. That means it’s between you and the counsellor. It’s your time and your space to be with someone who is there for you and nobody else. Obviously if you want to talk to anyone else about what you have discussed in the counselling session that is up to you. The counsellor will keep confidentiality unless you, or someone else, are at risk of harm. The counsellor may then need to talk to someone else to help keep you safe, but will always try to talk with you about this first.
You can refer yourself by speaking to your School Base. Every week, support staff will meet and discuss referrals and determine the appropriate interventions for you and action will be taken.
If you have any questions you are welcome to either speak with your counsellor or a member of the school staff.
There are also online counselling based services you can access;

If you are concerned about your mental health contact your GP or in emergencies call 999 or go to accident and emergency.

Divorce And Separation.

Drop Ins

General Health Drop In
Tuesday break and lunchtimes in Meeting Room 2 opposite Russell School base.

Counselling Drop In
Every break and lunch time for advice. Opposite Russell School base.

Alcohol and Drug Support for Students
By appointment only - please see your school base for information.

Smoking Cessation
By appointment only - please see your school base for information.

Drugs and Alcohol

If you are concerned about your own or others' drug or alcohol misuse below are some useful links.

ru-ok? works alongside under 18s whose lives are affected by substance misuse in Brighton and Hove. They believe in equal opportunities for all and will strive to help young people to lead safe and happy lives, whilst respecting their views, beliefs and individual needs. They offer free, confidential, expert advice and support.

Frank offers friendly, confidential drugs advice.

Young Oasis. When someone has an alcohol or drug problem it affects everyone around them. When a parent or family member has an alcohol or drug problem, it often leaves children/young people struggling to understand what has happened. They can be left with difficult feelings, locked up worries or anger and feeling isolated and vulnerable. - parent and carer page - young people’s page


Keeping fit and healthy is important. There are several ways of getting advice to do with health.

Within school - we have a team of school nurses who run a health drop in on Tuesday lunchtimes. They are also available for students who want advice or support. Students can refer themselves or through their school base.

Tips for coping with sleeping problems

Food and mood

Physical activities

Beat provides helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide slf-help groups to help adults and young people in the UK beat their eating disorders.

Mental Health

If you are worried about yourself or someone else's wellbeing you may find some of the links below useful.

Young Minds offer information to young people and children about mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Childline. If you need someone to talk to, you can talk to Childline about any problem you are worried about. They are available 24 hours a day and can talk to you in confidence. The number won’t appear on your phone bill. You can call them for free on 0800 1111 or visit their website.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Community CAMHS team work closely together to support children and young people with emotional and mental health needs.

Online Safety 

Please see our separate online safety page for lots of tips and information about using social media and the internet safely.

Personal Safety

There may be times when you feel that your personal safety is at risk. The links below may provide you with information and support.

RISE is a domestic abuse charity working in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex. It can help with refuge accommodation, resettlement, crisis appointments, helpline, counselling, housing, legal and financial advice, solicitors appointments, support groups, play therapy, 1 to 1 support. 

NSPCC offers advice and information on female genital mutilation.

Childline. If you need someone to talk to, you can talk to Childline about any problem you are worried about. They are available 24 hours a day and can talk to you in confidence. The number won’t appear on your phone bill. You can call them for free on 0800 1111 or visit their website.

The WISE Project is a service for 13-25 year olds who are experiencing sexual exploitation or are at risk of experiencing it. The project is also a point of call for advice and guidance for those working with young people who have suffered from sexual exploitation.

Self Harm

Self harm can mean many things, but in general means deliberately hurting oneself or putting oneself at risk of harm. If you are concerned about yourself or somebody else, we urge you to seek support and the websites below may help you with this.

Self harm is a project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest about what's going on in your life. We believe harming isn't a helpful way of coping with life, but we know the journey to recovery can be difficult. Many of us involved in running this site have self-harmed in the past, so we know what it feels like. We also hope parents and friends of someone harming will find plenty of advice and encouragement. We realise it can be tough to know what to say or how to help. 

NSHN, National Self Harm Network supports individuals who self harm to reduce emotional distress and improve their quality of life. They support and provide information for family and carers of individuals who self harm. They seek to raise awareness of the needs of people who self harm, dispel myths and combat discrimination. 

Hopeline UK 0800 068 4141Confidential support and advice for young people, or anyone concerned about a young person at risk of self harm.

Sexual Health

Below are some websites that may be of use for information on sex, sexual health and relationships. 

SWISH provides information about sex, sexual health and relationships for people living or working in Brighton and Hove. Information for young people about staying safe, a guide to local services, a section on HIV, a section for people who are LGBTU and much more.

Sussex Community NHS Trust Contraception and Sexual Health Clinic, Family Planning Service, Morley Street Brighton.

Claude Nicol offers a range of services including sexual health screening, management of patients with HIV, including a young person's clinic and a gay and bisexual men's clinic.

Allsorts Youth Project. LGBT young people don't always get information they need about negotiating sexual relationships safely. Allsorts provides a range of support and information about looking after your sexual health. 


Zumos provides you with first step help and information on a wide rnge of things that you may come across in your day to day life. Sometimes you can experience problems or things can happen that seem difficult to understand or solve. Zumos has been created to give you direct and private access to information, help and support that should help you better understand things and suggest ways in which you can move forward in a helpful and more positive way.

At Varndean School we are aware of the importance of emotional wellbeing for all students.  We consider wellbeing to be central to positive learning outcomes and a healthy and happy school experience.  Therefore, we attempt to embed emotional and behavioural wellbeing and positive relationships throughout school life.  This is achieved through various experiences and opportunities such as Learning for Life, drop-ins, workshops, a counselling service and liaison with other services. 

Due to the importance of confidentiality for young people, parental consent is not specifically attained for all services.  Should you wish your child not to engage with any services, please contact their school base directly. 
Gillick competence is a term originating in England and is used in medical law to decide whether a child, 16 years or younger, is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge.  If your child is 13 and over and presents as Gillick competent,  they would be entitled to decide which services they would like to access without parental consent.