Leeds City Academy


Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental Health & Wellbeing Provision at LCA: Information for Parents/Carers

At Leeds City Academy we are working towards creating a world-class provision to support all our students with their Mental Health & Wellbeing with opportunities to explore this both through an extensive DNA curriculum and with the support of experienced professionals. This includes the appointment of a full-time Student Counsellor based within the school and the commission Youth Point at The Cardigan Centre as a key partner, to provide complementary support within school.

Please see below biographies from the team and information about this offer. Please do not hesitate to contact us about your child’s wellbeing should you be concerned or believe your child would benefit from any of the services listed.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Team


Kim Potter,

Student Counsellor

  • Hi I’m Kim. I’ve worked in mental health services in various roles over the last 9 years: from being a Samaritans Listening volunteer to a Mental Health Support Worker in Crisis Services, the NHS and residential hostels.
  • As a Counsellor I have also worked across a range of services with a diverse client group and various presenting mental health issues. In school I use a relational, client-focused form of therapy and a range of therapeutic tools tailored to the individual student. This means I keep the student at the heart of everything I do and follow their lead around goals for therapy.
  • I am very excited to be part of developing and shaping such a progressive Mental Health & Wellbeing provision at LCA alongside our inspirational students.
  • Feel free to contact me with any questions via email on potter.k@whiteroseacademies.org


Claire Richardson,

Youth Worker from Youth Point

  • Hi, I’m Claire and I’m one of the Youth and Community Workers at LCA. I started my career in an alternative education provision, supporting young people aged 11-16. I worked there for 5 years before heading to the Cardigan Centre and delivering short courses to young people aged 16-18. Following this, I supported young people aged 18-24 into Education, Employment or Training opportunities and working to develop their confidence, self-esteem, and motivation. Alongside this, I co-deliver youth clubs across Leeds to many young people aged 8-17, facilitating activities and providing a safe space for them to socialise and have fun!
  • My role at LCA is to support young people with any issues they may be facing in school, home or their personal life. I enjoy working with young people and encouraging them to become the best version of themselves.
  • Email: Claire.Schofield@cardigancentre.org.uk



Youth Worker from Youth Point

  • Hi, my name is Westen. I am a Youth & Community Worker at the Cardigan Centre. I have been doing this job for 11 years and counting! I'm driven and passionate about working with young people in the local communities.
  • My aim is to contribute and make positive changes in the local area. I like to create a safe space for young people to feel relaxed, socialize with friends and be free in the Youth session I deliver. One-to-one support has been a big part of my journey, it’s a privilege to provide a positive role model and guidance for young people. I thrive off knowing I can be there for a young person in need.
  • Email: James.Smithen@cardigancentre.org.uk



Becky Morgan,

Art Psychotherapist

  • Hello, I’m Becky. I am currently a trainee Art Psychotherapist on the Art Therapy Northern Programme, Leeds Beckett University.
  • I have previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at a Special Educational Needs school with young people with SEN, Autism, and emotional difficulties, I have also worked within a community setting as part of my training, working therapeutically with both adults and young people who have struggled with mental health issues or have been going through difficult life circumstances.
  • My approach in sessions is person-centred which allows the individual to create art and talk about any difficulties or struggles they may be going through as they feel safe and ready to do so, as well as interpreting their own artworks how they wish.


I look forward to continuing my placement at LCA and in bringing in a new form of support to the Mental Health & Wellbeing provision.


Mental Health & Wellbeing Support


  • One-to-one personal therapy
    • Therapy provides a safe and confidential space to talk to a trained professional about any issues and concerns. The Student Counsellor will help your young person to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours so they can develop a better understanding of themselves and of others.
    • The Student Counsellor will not give their opinions or advice or prescribe medication. They will help your young person to find their own solutions – whether that is making effective changes in their life or finding ways of coping with their problems.
    • Sessions are offered weekly lasting 50 minutes.


  • Drop-in support with Student Counsellor
    • One-to-one support offered as and when the student requires.
    • Provides a safe place to explore anything that may be bothering the student.


  • Art Therapy with Art Psychotherapist
    • Aim is to offer a different approach for those students who may struggle to talk or have communication needs.
    • Art therapy uses art materials as a way of communication.
    • Art can be used to explore thoughts and feelings as sometimes it is difficult to find the words.
    • You do not have to be ‘good’ at art. Art therapy is not an art lesson.
    • Students can use the materials provided however they like. At their own pace in a non-judgemental and safe space.
    • Art therapy may help find new ways of understanding or coping with tricky feelings or experiences.
    • The student can choose to talk whenever they want, either whilst using the art materials, or describing what they have created.


  • One-to-one support sessions with Wellbeing Worker
    • A creative and interactive approach consisting of 8-12 weekly sessions for young people around a range of issues including:
      • Anxiety
      • Self-harm
      • Anger
      • Self esteem
      • CSE / CCE
      • Family conflict
      • Healthy relationships

This support aims to compliment the counselling provision for those young people who don’t feel ready for a therapeutic intervention.


  • Groups with Wellbeing Worker
    • Each programme runs for 6 weeks with a group of 4 pupils. We have a range of group work programmes that we use in schools and can cover topics including:
      • Anxiety (using a CBT based approach)
      • Self-esteem / confidence
      • Managing emotions
      • Anti-racism
      • Experiencing racism
      • Healthy relationships
      • Sex & consent
      • Witnessing domestic violence
      • ‘Safe Place’ return to school
      • Conflict resolution


  • One-to-one support with Youth Worker
    • Informal support looking at any presenting including poor behaviour.
    • Youth Workers are also working within and as part of the Community. This gives them a unique standpoint to be able to support on environmental or social issues outside of school.
    • Goal/Solution-focused work. Goals set by both school and the student e.g.
      • Improve my attendance in the next half term. Currently 73%, want it to be 78% in 6 weeks.
      • I want to feel more in control of my anger.
    • Completed assessments at the start, mid-point and end of support to gauge progress.
    • Carousel of other informative group sessions including sex ed. Across each term.
    • Community Project for Summer 2022.


  • Afterschool groups with Youth Workers
    • Recommencing September 2021
    • An informal support and activity group based within the academy.
    • Provides an opportunity for students to seek support and information from Claire and Westen, Leeds City Academy’s Youth Workers from our partner Youth Point at the Cardigan Centre.
    • Students can also use this time to access peer support, or to just have fun.


How to Access Support?

Your son/daughter can refer themselves for support by:

  • Requesting their Form Tutor contact the Student Counsellor to arrange a drop-in support.
  • Completing the ‘1-1 Support’ form available on their school IT home screen.
  • Speaking to their Year Manager.
  • Speaking to the Student Counsellor directly.

*The son/daughter does not have to disclose their reason for wanting to access support to their Form Tutor or Year Manager when requesting a referral be made.

If you have a concern about your son/daughter and would be interested in them accessing Mental Health & Wellbeing support in school, please contact their Year Manager to discuss.

It may be that members of staff from other areas of the school, such as the Safeguarding, Attendance or SEDN teams refer your son/daughter for support.

A student will never be forced to engage with any support. If they decline, they will be advised that they can refer again in the future if they wish and their referral will be closed.

Confidentiality and record-keeping

All members of staff in the Mental Health & Wellbeing Team will keep case notes after each interaction with a student. These are anonymised, brief factual notes about the content of discussion.

The Student Counsellor will contact the student’s parents/carers when they begin accessing therapy. The purpose of this call is to introduce the Student Counsellor, explain what the aim of therapy and offer a face-to-face meeting. It is not to discuss details of the student’s referral or of their following sessions. Further contact will be made when therapy comes to an end.

This will not be done for sessions conducted by Wellbeing Worker or Youth Workers.

Details of the student’s support sessions will not be disclosed to any teaching staff however, advice may be provided to if it is relevant to supporting the student in their lessons.

Year Managers will be informed of any planned sessions for their students. If the Student Counsellor, Wellbeing Worker or Youth Worker is off sick Year Managers can then inform the relevant students.