Post by: Prospero | June, 17, 2015
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Supporting Student Mental Health and Wellbeing In Schools

What YoungMinds Can Do For You and Your Whole-School Community

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.

At YoungMinds we define mental health as “the strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop, to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges and to make the most of our abilities and opportunities”. Though improving there is still a stigma around mental health, particularly when it comes to children and young people.

As teachers, you will all teach someone who is suffering from a mental illness. Many teachers tell us they feel ill-equipped to deal with the demands of young people in schools who need help and support relating to mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and exam stress. Many teachers have had little to no training on mental health and yet are dealing with these issues in young people on a daily basis, often not even knowing where to signpost them and their families.


At YoungMinds we think it is vitally important that teachers feel confident talking about mental health issues in school. The earlier these issues are brought up and addressed, the better the outcome for young people.  It is also hugely helpful for the whole-school community; including pupils, teachers and parents, to have a better understanding of how to build and promote resilience and positive mental health and emotional well-being.

Young People's Learning Outcomes Can Be Enhanced With Resilience

Building Resilience in Young People Can Help Their Learning Outcomes

YoungMinds’ training and practice is informed at every stage through the insight young people share with us. These experiences inform our training and practice at every step so we are strongly positioned to support individual teachers and whole schools in a number of innovative ways:

  • We can support a whole-school approach to building resilience and positive mental health through the Academic Resilience process. ‘Academic resilience means students achieving good educational outcomes despite adversity. For schools, promoting it involves strategic planning and detailed practice involving the whole school community to help vulnerable young people do better than their circumstances might have predicted.’
  • We run a number of Open Access courses, which anyone can attend, that can also be run as bespoke sessions in schools. We tailor and bespoke all of our sessions to the needs of the attendees to ensure that each group gets exactly what they need from the session. Courses run throughout the year and include
  • ‘Teens, Turmoil & Transition: Mental Health in Adolescence’
  • ‘Self Harm’
  • ‘Resilience: Ordinary Magic and Learnable Skills’, and
  • ‘Supporting Positive Mental Health in Early Years’
  • We also run special offers at certain times of the year, for example, during Anti-Bullying week this year we are running a course on Bullying and Mental Health.

Have you found yourself dealing with young people’s mental health issues at school and if so what did you do?

Did you find there was sufficient expertise in your school community to support you and the needs of the young people in need?

Do you have any thoughts about how and when mental health issues should be dealt with in school?

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