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Supporting international pupils with mental health issues

  • Date: January 17, 2023
  • Time: 12:30 – 13:30
  • Cost: BAISIS member £50  / BSA member £65 / BSA Member additional attendee £30 / BAISIS Member additional attendee £20 / Non-member £120
  • Audience: Boarding staff, pastoral staff, academic staff, wellbeing leads, anyone involved in supporting the wellbeing of international students
  • Platform: Zoom (online) – webinar

Content overview:

We understand the unique challenges faced by practitioners when it comes to supporting the mental health of all young people, but particularly the mental health of international students. This webinar will delve into the crucial topic of mental health support for international students, addressing the additional stressors often faced by our international students: cultural adjustment, language barriers, being away from home. This webinar will equip you with practical strategies and insights to better understanding and address their mental health needs.

Training topics will include:

  • Cultural awareness: exploring strategies to navigate cultural differences and promote a culturally sensitive environment
  • Identification and assessment: learn how to identify signs of mental health issues among international students
  • Homesickness and transition support: understanding the emotional challenges faced by international students related to homesickness and transitioning to a new culture
  • Communication and language barriers: learn techniques for fostering trust, active listening and creating a safe space for open dialogue, especially with those who may face language barriers.

Learning outcomes:

  • Enhanced understanding of the unique mental health challenges faced by international pupils
  • Practical strategies to identify and support the emotional wellbeing of international students
  • Develop culturally sensitive communication techniques.



Nikki Donson, Assistant Head Pastoral and Boarding, Head of Upper School and Deputy DSL, Burgess Hill Girls

Nikki is a highly experienced teacher who joined Burgess Hill Girls in 2016. Prior to that, she had relocated from an all-girls boarding school in Oxfordshire. Throughout her career, Nikki has worked in both the maintained and independent sectors, gaining valuable experience in various pastoral roles within schools. While she possesses a broad range of expertise, Nikki’s specialist subject is Music.

Nikki’s passion for mental health and wellbeing is evident in her commitment to improving the wellbeing of both staff and students. She actively seeks out opportunities to enhance the overall welfare of the school community. Recognizing the importance of mental health, she strives to create an environment that promotes emotional well-being and supports the needs of all individuals involved.

In addition to her role as a music teacher, Nikki has taken on the responsibility of leading the PSHE/RSE (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education/Relationships and Sex Education) program at the school. She facilitates training sessions for staff, aiming to build their confidence and expertise in this area. By doing so, Nikki ensures that the school delivers comprehensive and effective PSHE/RSE education, enabling students to develop vital life skills and navigate important topics in a supportive and knowledgeable environment.

With her wealth of experience and her dedication to mental health and wellbeing, Nikki plays an integral role in creating a positive and enriching educational experience for the students and staff at Burgess Hill Girls.