Oldham Sixth Form College


Mental Health Support

1 in 4 people have some sort of mental health problem at some time in their lives. You are not alone!

This can include things like feeling stressed or worried, down or depressed, angry or overwhelmed. Sometimes these feelings can be a reaction to problems in your life, like bullying or arguments at home. Sometimes the feelings can be a response to memories or problems from the past...and sometimes you just don't know why you feel the way you do.

At OSFC, we are fully aware of the emotional health and wellbeing challenges that our students can face in their lives.  This is why we aim to ensure everyone who attends our college has the best possible support to fulfil their potential and has access to the resources they need to THRIVE.


We do this by:

  • Ensuring we provide students with the information they need to keep themselves safe and well through tutorial and college-wide initiatives.

  • Having high quality conversations with all students, when transitioning from school to college.

  • Providing all students with a dedicated Progress Tutor, who can help with a range of issues - from study support, to mental health support, advice and signposting.

  • Giving students access to a specialist Welfare and Support team, who are able to help with more complex issues.

  • We make counselling and psychological support available to students who may need it.

  • Involving external agencies when specialist support is needed.

  • Promoting the Five Ways to Wellbeing.



Five Ways to Wellbeing

At OSFC, we value the importance of the five ways to wellbeing and believe by following these five basic strategies, we can live mentally healthy, happy and productive lives.

1. GIVE - your time; your words; your presence.

2. KEEP LEARNING - embrace new experiences; see opportunities; surprise yourself.

3. BE ACTIVE - do what you can; enjoy what you do; move your mood.

4. TAKE NOTICE - remember the simple things that give you joy.

5. CONNECT - talk and listen; be there; feel connected.


By looking after our mental health, we can have the best opportunity to thrive in all aspects of our life in relation to :

  • Everyday functioning

  • Maintaining a balanced perspective on life

  • Developing high self- esteem                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • Managing stress

  • Building relationships with others

Even though you can approach any member of staff in the college with any concerns you may have, we also have a brilliant team of specialist staff who oversee our emotional health and mental wellbeing work.  This team supports all staff in ensuring the right advice,  guidance and resources are available to help students manage their mental wellbeing concerns. It is also possible to arrange a short course of sessions for more specialist input.

Staff Expertise

We have made it a priority to be able to respond effectively to any concerns students may have with their emotional health and wellbeing.  This is why we have put in place a training plan for all front line staff to help them engage and work productively with both students and colleagues on issues relating to mental health and emotional wellbeing.  The two main training approaches are:

Connect 5

  • This is a mental health promotion training programme based on the latest evidence. It increases the confidence and core skills of front line staff, so they are more effective in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing. It has been designed to help people manage stress and distress and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive change.

  • We now have six members of staff trained to deliver this programme within the college and are looking at ways to implement these ideas not only with staff, but also with students and parents.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

  • This is a training programme developed to hone staff skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need.

  • We have already trained over 50 members of staff as Mental Health First Aiders. We have capacity in college to deliver this training and to keep the focus on positive mental health.

Recommended External Support:

The following looks at a selection of the resources we use in our everyday work, which both students and their parents/carers can explore for support and guidance: 

Kooth is a web based confidential, safe and secure support service available to young people.

Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.  Counsellors are available from 12 noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm at weekends, every day of the year, on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular, booked online counselling sessions as needed.  Outside counselling hours, young people can message the Kooth team and get support by the next day.

When students register with Kooth, they will have support available to them now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling, but articles, forums and discussion boards. All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.

  • TOG Mind - Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind

The Youth in Mind initiative is specifically targeted to respond to the needs of young people in the local area.

TOG Mind offer an innovative range of therapeutic services that can be tailored to meet individual needs, including Wellbeing Sessions, Therapeutic Courses, Counselling and One-to-One sessions.

If you would like further information on any of the TOG Mind services, please contact them on 0161 330 9223.

Here you will find access to services and the option to make a referral for professional advice and support.

  • Silver Cloud Health - Secure, immediate access to online supported CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) programmes.

The programmes have demonstrated high improvement rates for depression, anxiety and stress.

It's flexible - access it anywhere, on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

  • Papyrus HopeLine - an amazing resource for anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts or worried about someone they think is considering ending their life.

  • Samaritans - Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans are there for you.

Using this link will take you through to the range of ways you can access the Samaritans