Mental health and wellbeing - PSHE for schools
This page focuses on all aspects of emotional and mental health and wellbeing. You'll find links to relevant sites and teaching resources as well as details of local training opportunities and news from local providers.
Kooth - a new counselling service for children and young people
We've commissioned Kooth, a new online counselling and emotional wellbeing service for children and young people, in partnership with other local authorities and the NHS. The service is provided by XenZone, an online mental health pioneer.
Kooth is available for young people aged 11-19 living in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Children and young people can chat online to professional counsellors, read articles written by young people, join forums to receive peer-to-peer support, access self-help materials and keep a daily journal.
Free mental health training for secondary schools: September 2019 to March 2020
The Anna Freud Centre, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), is offering free mental health awareness training for secondary schools.
This one-day training will be freely available to those secondary schools who have not yet received mental health first aid training. The training will be available for up to two members of staff from each eligible secondary school. The training will take place across England, in over 100 locations, between September 2019 and March 2020.
The Charlie Waller Trust's range of mental wellbeing resources including managing self harm
The Charllie Waller Trust produces a range of high quality, reliable, mental health resources (link opens in new window) for schools and families. Videos and leaflets on topics such as managing self harm, low mood and exam stress can be downloaded or ordered for free. The trust also offers training in mental health issues.
New teaching resources to support students to cope with change - all key stages
Rise Above for Schools launched new teaching resources to support students to cope with change. This includes the first Rise Above lesson plan for primary schools, Transition to secondary school (link opens in new window), which focuses on preparing Year 6 students for the move from primary to secondary school. The Dealing with change (link opens in new window) lesson plan helps secondary school teachers discuss the impact of different scenarios, including changes to friendship groups and family as well as physical changes from puberty. Both lesson plans feature an engaging video and tips from young people about how they cope with life's challenges.
Updated PSHE Association guidance on teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing
The PSHE Association’s guidance on teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing has now been fully updated to match the government’s new statutory PSHE requirements regarding health education, relationships education and RSE.
Heads Together mentally healthy schools
Heads Together Mentally Healthy Schools (link opens in new window) brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. Their aim is to increase staff awareness, knowledge and confidence to help you support your pupils.
YoungMinds' young person's Crisis Messenger
YoungMinds' Crisis Messenger service provides free 24/7 crisis support across the UK.
If a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis they can text YM to 85258.
They’ll be connected to a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes, who will listen, help them think through how they're feeling, and aim to help them take the next steps towards feeling better.
Dealing with change lesson plan pack
Free dealing with change PSHE resources (link opens in new window) from Public Health England are designed to help students understand and manage the changes that may happen as they transition into adulthoodand learn about ways to manage and cope with these changes.
The lesson plan pack includes an engaging lesson plan, editable PowerPoint presentation, real-life scenarios and interactive videos, which all aim to encourage peer-to-peer discussion.
Transition to secondary school lesson plan pack
Free transition to secondary PSHE resources (link opens in new window) from Public Health England are designed to help students understand and manage the changes that may happen as they transition into adulthoodand learn about ways to manage and cope with these changes.
The lesson plan pack includes an engaging lesson plan, editable PowerPoint presentation, real-life scenarios and interactive videos, which all aim to encourage peer-to-peer discussion.
Free parent workshops on mental health and wellbeing
View details of a programme of free parent workshops on mental health and wellbeing provided by Bedfordshire CAMHS (link opens in new window). These workshops are open to any parent who is registered with a Bedfordshire GP. They do not need to have a child open to CAMHS.
What are adverse childhood experiences?
- infographic poster: great for putting up in the staff room, the infographic poster outlines the kind of traumatic experiences that occur during childhood and adolescence
- Addressing Adversity slides: for more detail on how schools can respond and protect young people
Chief Medical Officer's advice on children and young people's screen-based activity
This document is the Chief Medical Officer's commentary on University College London's recent independent research concerning 'screen-based activities' (e.g. watching videos online, social media use, gaming and similar activities) and the mental health of children and young people (CYP). The document outlines advice for parents and carers and steps organisations should take.
'Make it Count' campaign and staff mental health resources from Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation has launched the Make it Count campaign (link opens in new window), because mental health is not extracurricular. More and more school children are struggling to cope with their mental health, amidst rising rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm in children and young people.
Staff wellbeing and child/young person's mental health advice
Ten Steps Towards School Staff Wellbeing (link opens in new window), from the Anna Freud Centre, provides some helpful materials and encourages schools to reflect that if they want to make a success of promoting children’s mental health, this can only be achieved by giving the staff wellbeing the consideration it deserves.
The Charlie Waller Trust: resources for teachers
The aim of the trust is to increase awareness of the signs and the dangers of depression amongst young people and to encourage those who may be depressed to seek help. It also encourages those that are well to pick up the symptoms in others and persuade them to get help.
Advice and support for parents on their children's mental health and wellbeing
As part of your whole school/college approach to emotional wellbeing, supporting and engaging parents is key. YoungMinds offers information and support for any parent who is worried about their child's mental health and wellbeing, (link opens in new window) or their own parenting skills. Please share this link with your parents and consider adding the link to your school/college website.
Updated DfE publication: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools 2018
The DfE has updated its guidance for schools on mental health and behaviour (2016) (link opens in new window). The guidance gives advice on:
- how to create a whole school culture, including promoting positive mental health
- understanding the link between mental health and behaviour
- how to identify children with possible mental health problems
- where and how to put in place support, including working with external agencies where required
It also provides links to sources of further support and guidance.
Short film clips to raise young people's awareness of psychosis - key stages 3 and 4
The East of England Clinical Network has developed two short film clips to raise young people’s awareness of psychosis. The films are based on young people's journeys through psychosis, including the symptoms and support they received. The aim of the films are to help young people identify symptoms of psychosis and also educate them on how they can obtain help from primary care and the early intervention in psychosis team if they or someone they know experiences a psychotic episode.
The DEAL (developing emotional awareness and listening) resources by the Samaritans
The DEAL (Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening) resources (link opens in new window) by the Samaritans offer teachers a comprehensive package of engaging teaching material focusing on emotional wellbeing and communication skills. The resources are aimed at students aged 14 and over and are free. The lesson plans and materials included in the DEAL resources are split into units which focus on the following key areas of the emotional wellbeing of young people;
- emotional health
- coping strategies
- dealing with feelings
- connecting with others (communication skills)
Guidance for head teachers and college principals on the 8 principles for promoting emotional health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
Building children's and young people's resilience in schools
The Marmot Review recognised the important role of schools in building resilience, and recommended as a policy objective that, 'schools, families and communities work in partnership to reduce the gradient in health, wellbeing and resilience of children and young people'.
The Building children's and young people's resilience in schools review downloaded from GOV.UK (link opens in new window) and builds on that position and provides a summary of evidence about the effect of resilience on health, the unequal distribution of resilience and its contribution to levels of health inequalities.
Local library books for adults and children on mental health and wellbeing
'Shelf Help' is a collection of books for young people, available in the teen section of our larger libraries. However, books can be ordered and collected from any of our libraries. This collection is also very useful for parents/carers who are looking for more information and ways to support a young person. Library staff can request the Shelf Help books free of charge for a young person.
Visit the Reading Hack website (link opens in new window) to find out more.
'Reading Well for mental health' is a collection of books for adults available in the non-fiction section of everylibrary. These books can provide information and advice to parents and carers supporting a young person.
These collections are free to borrow from the library
Visit the Reading Well website (link opens in new window) for more information.
Free toolkit: emotional health, wellbeing and resilience
Emotional wellbeing is on everyone’s agenda and is a topic of national and local discussion. We've teamed up with educational psychologists and youth services to produce a locally focused, user-friendly toolkit (PDF 3.9MB) based on the Public Health England document ‘Promoting Children and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing: A Whole School and College Approach’ (2015).
Young people talking about mental health (short videos)
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has produced a series of free films available to schools, colleges, teachers or anyone who wants to get young people talking about mental health.
Mental health animation for children - key stage 3
Anna Freud has produced a new animation and teacher toolkit: We all have mental health (link opens in new window).
The animation aims to give children:
- consistent and accessible language to talk about mental health
- a better understanding of mental health self-care
- to know who to ask for support when it is needed
Self harming resource from Charlie Waller Trust
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (link opens in new window) has released a new resource, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, for school staff who may come into contact with students who have self-harmed or at risk of self-harm. The resource contains information about self-harm, its impact and practical ways school staff can help to support young people.
Anna Freud’s free leaflet on staff wellbeing
This booklet has been developed with Anna Freud’s mental health experts (link opens in new window), and aims to give school staff and Senior Leadership Teams some simple guidance and good practical examples where schools have successfully implemented wellbeing strategies. Topics featured include
- what can impact or support staff wellbeing?
- what can Supervision look like in schools?
- how can senior leaders prioritise wellbeing?
CHUMS early intervention training programe for schools
CHUMS is delighted to deliver its early intervention training programe for schools across Central Bedfordshire for the next academic year. This programme will be jointly delivered by CHUMS Emotional Wellbeing Service and the Early Help CAMHS/ CAMHS Schools team.
The training consists of half termly training and consultation sessions for an allocated member of school staff (Emotional Wellbeing Lead). The training will be held at an external venue (from 9am to 3:45pm.) In line with the government's green paper on Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, we hope that this project supports schools to identify a lead person within each school who will oversee the mental health and emotional wellbeing for pupils.
The topics of training on offer are:
- low mood/ gepression
- loss and grief
The day consists of training during the morning and an optional group consultation session in the afternoon. The consultation session provides an opportunity to seek advice and guidance on accessing appropriate support for young people within the school.
This is a time limited opportunity so please contact CHUMS if you are interested in the programme or would like more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Youth MFHA One Day course
Every secondary school in England is entitled to one free place on a Youth MHFA One Day (link opens in new window) course through the Youth MHFA in Schools programme.
Access your school's free place on a Youth MHFA One Day course by emailing email@example.com.
School and college information
We've collated additional local guidance, resources and presentations on mental health and wellbeing.
Third mental health booklet from the Anna Freud Centre
The Anna Freud Centre has produced the third in the series of mental health in schools booklets: Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools (link opens in new window)
Sign up for free mental health resources - all key stages
1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem and too many still fear the reaction of others.
By devoting a lesson, assembly or short session plan to changing how your school community thinks and acts about mental health, you can make a huge difference.
Time to Change is a growing social movement changing how we all think and act about mental health.
It has developed five easy ways (link opens in new window) to start a conversation in your school and ensure no young person feels isolated or ashamed if they are struggling with emotional wellbeing or mental health issues.
Choose from its range of free activities which include easy resources and activities that you can use throughout the school year. Talking about mental health is easier than you think.
Talking to someone recovering from an eating disorder
Some practical tips from Young Minds (link opens in new window) on talking to someone recovering from an eating disorder.
Supporting mental health in schools and colleges from DfE
Survey and case studies (link opens in new window) with schools on activities to support pupils' mental health and wellbeing. Including working in partnership, developing a whole school/college approach and working with families.
National Youth Wellbeing Directory of mental health services
The Anna Freud Centre has relaunched the Youth Wellbeing Directory (link opens in new window) which provides details of over 1,300 free mental health services across the UK who offer support to children and young people up to the age of 25. The site can be searched by location, topic or name of service.
In addition, the site has links to useful information and support on a range of issues including, dealing with anxiety, bereavement or bullying.
Resources to support transitions for pupils/students with SEND and for all pupils/students between primary and secondary
A film from Young Minds (link opens in new window) to watch in your class to help pupils/students prepare for the transition between primary and secondary school.
A guide (link opens in new window) which aims to: set out the key principles underpinning successful transition from one educational setting to another and into training or employment for children and young people with SEND.
Health: From Here to Where resources - key stages 3 and 4
The PSHE Association has collaborated with RSPH and the Health Foundation to create free-to-download lesson plans, teacher guidance and a wealth of accompanying materials (link opens in new window) which focus on the factors that influence our health and wellbeing.
Resilience resources for schools
A range of free resources (link opens in new window) from Boingboing to help schools to promote emotional resilience in pupils and students.
Young person's animated insight into resilience - key stages 2, 3 and 4
Public Health England has worked with the Association for Young People’s Health to gain deeper insight from young people into resilience. The animation developed by young people (link opens in new window) really emphasises the importance of resilience and protective factors throughout children's and young people’s life.
A series of films to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils
The BBC has produced a series of short films called When I Worry About Things (link opens in new window). Topics include:
- Being Bullied
- Being a Bully
- OCD and Depression
- Eating Disorders
- Panic Attacks
Bedfordshire CAMHS has produced a video of a service user talking about her experience of combatting the effects of exam stress (link opens in new window).
CHUMS has produced a video called "Joe's Story", which is available at a cost of £10 to schools. The film tells the story of Joe, who finds it difficult to seek support due to the stigma associated with mental ill-health. To purchase a copy, please contact CHUMS (link opens in new window).
Teaching resilience resources
Resilience training for pupils
How to Thrive (link opens in new window) is a charity which delivers practical resilience training to pupils/students in schools and colleges. The programmes are aimed primarily at key stages 3 and 4 and are always practical and evidence based. The programme enables young people to develop skills that empower them to be more resilient in dealing with situations both in and out of school. Young people develop skills in emotion control and emotional awareness, problem solving, assertiveness, peer relationships, and decision making.
Self harm training and resources for schools and parents - all key stages
Young Minds has produced a range of resources on self harm:
- information on how to spot the warning signs and what yo do if a young person isn't ready to talk (link opens in new window)
- a guide to self-harm and getting the help you need (link opens in new window)
- training: an introduction to self harm (link opens in new window)
Online teacher training on dealing with a young person who has thoughts of suicide
Online training from Zero Suicide Alliance (link opens in new window) has been designed for practitioners working with young people (and adults) who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. One of our local commissioned services has used the training and found it very helpful.
Latest Prince's Trust report on the happiness of young people
The Youth Index (link opens in new window) is a national survey that gauges young people's happiness and confidence across a range of areas from working life to physical health. The latest report demonstrates that young people's wellbeing, which dropped last year to its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned, has fallen again to a new low this year, and that concerns about their job prospects are playing on their minds.
Summary report on mental health and wellbeing and associated support services
The Local Government Association has produced an interesting summary of the position on children and young people's mental health and wellbeing and the associated services (link opens in new window).
CAMHS schools team service for upper schools and colleges (year 9 and above)
The Bedfordshire CAMHS schools team offers a range of services to schools with year 9 and above students. These are as follows:
- offer guidance and advice to teaching staff on individual cases
- support signposting
Assess client involving family/carer - this could be over 1 to 2 sessions, depending on complexity.
1:1 sessions for up to 4 to 6 weeks with a schools practitioner.
Teaching strategies offered to staff.
Training on a range of emotional wellbeing and mental health topics such as self-harm, early identification and behaviour.
Contact your named CAMHS worker for further details and dates of the training sessions.
Young Minds' one stop shop for mental health, wellbeing and resilience in school - all key stages
Young Minds offers a one stop shop for mental health (link opens in new window), wellbeing and resilience for your whole school.
Young Minds’ 360 Schools webpages offer resources including how to adopt a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing, lesson plans for mental health awareness, activities for building hope and how to make friends.
Child mental health green paper
The Department of Health and the Department of Education have published a Green Paper on Children's Mental Health (link opens in new window). The paper builds on the Future in Mind (2015) and Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) documents and proposes the introduction of a mental health lead in schools as well as more CAMHs provision in schools.
Ground rules for discussions on mental health and emotional wellbeing - all key stages
The PSHE Association has produced some guidance for teaching staff (link opens in new window) on the ground rules to follow when discussing emotional wellbeing and mental health issues.
Emotional wellbeing support for school staff and young people over 17
As school professionals, it is essential to ensure your own emotional health and wellbeing as well as that of your students.
Everyone feels stressed or unhappy at some time. Generally, these difficult times pass, but sometimes there are problems that do not go away and it becomes harder to cope.
If you are 17 and over, the Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service (link opens in new window) can offer quick and easy access to help and support. The service is a free and confidential NHS service for local people.
Understanding the behaviour of traumatised children and young people - all key stages
These resources from InnerWorld Work (link opens in new window) are a great insight into the inner world of a child or young person who has experienced trauma. It helps those around to understand the outward manifestations of this.
Rise Above for Schools
Public Health England has developed Rise Above for Schools (link opens in new window), a programme supporting secondary school teachers to deliver PSHE lessons. The program uses content co-created with young people on topics such as smoking and exam stress.
Information and free resources on a range of health campaigns, including school zone change4life are available on the Campaign Resource Centre (link opens in new window).
Free Media Smart resources on boys' body image - key stages 3 and 4
The PSHE Association has recommended this free lesson resource from Media Smart (link opens in new window) which is designed to get students aged 11 to 14 talking about body image and advertising, and exploring ways to develop positive body image through PSHE education.
The Media Smart Body Image and Advertising resource includes teacher notes, presentation slides and printable worksheets, to help you plan and deliver a PSHE lesson that:
- introduces the topic of body image, and explores how it’s influenced by the media and advertising
- teaches students how to manage this influence, and promotes positive body image and emotional resilience
Anna Freud Free Measuring mental wellbeing eLearning course for all key stages
Measuring mental wellbeing to improve the lives of children and young people’ aims to educate non-specialised and school staff working in children and young people’s mental health in the benefits of measuring and monitoring mental wellbeing over time. This free interactive short course provided by the Anna Freud Centre focuses on the effective use of outcome measurement. This course features engaging quizzes and activities to illustrate how staff can choose and use outcome measures to monitor wellbeing and how to analyse wellbeing information to demonstrate impact.
Social media and children's mental health - all key stages
The Education Policy Institute has published the following report:
The report concludes that whilst the use of social media has positive impacts on children’s lives, there are negative impacts on mental health and wellbeing.
- extreme internet users (more than 6 hours use outside of school) were more likely to report bullying than moderate internet users
- extreme internet users had a lower life satisfaction score compared to moderate internet users. Each additional hour spent online was associated with a negative impact on life satisfaction
Anna Freud free lesson plans, resources and training to promote mental health in schools KS1 and 2
The Anna Freud You’re Never Too Young to Talk Mental Health campaign will be rolled out in September and will provide all primary schools with free ‘Talking Mental Health’ animations and an accompanying teacher resource pack which includes assembly plans, lesson plans and cross-curricular activities.
These materials support teachers to give children the language they need to talk about mental health, the skills they need to be a good listener, and will help them to understand what to do if they’re worried about a friend.
Anna Freud has also developed a booklet: Supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools (link opens in new window) and a series of films which offer practical guidance about what school staff can do in the classroom to support mental health.
Schools can support the mental health and wellbeing of our children. Make sure that your school signs up to start #TalkingMentalHealth (link opens in new window).
Stress in the workplace: a course for staff
Relate is offering bespoke support to help employers effectively manage anxiety and stress within their workforce.
The new, two day, course will provide support to managers to identify signs of stress in their workforce and provide tailored support strategies for their staff.
The course costs £999 for a maximum of 12 participants per course.
Call Relate's training team on 01234 342503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
'Team Teach' coping with difficult behaviour training, all key stages
The one day foundation course of Team Teach training is aimed at low risk service settings such as mainstream schools. The course covers:
- personal safety
- team building
- non verbal and verbal de-escalation
- communication strategies
- positive handling techniques- if required
- documentation and legal guidance
- listening and learning
- reporting and reviewing
The training can be accessed from Oak Bank School:
Telephone: 01525 374 559
The training is either:
- funded by us through an outreach request to assessment and monitoring. There needs to be evidence that the training is to support students with a statement / EHCP
- commissioned directly by the school
Cost of commissioned training if hosted by the school
The One Day Foundation (6 hours - can be delivered in one day or through twilights e.g. 3 x 2 hours or 2 x 3 hours)
1 - 12 attendees: £450 (delivered by one senior tutor)
13 - 24 attendees £600 (delivered by two tutors)
Mental health video teaching resources, key stages 2 and 3
'When I Worry About Things' (link opens in new window) is a collection of BBC animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom.
These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8 - 13.
Private counselling organisation. All key stages
Hear2Listen (link opens in new window) is a non-profit organisation providing counselling services to children, young people and adults in schools and in the community. The organisation also offers an employee assistance service to support the emotional wellbeing of staff in schools.
KS3-4 mental health service user video
CHUMs has teamed up with Ben Salmons, who leads on the local mental health anti stigma campaign ‘Lets be open about mental health’ to produce this video (link opens in new window). The interview is with Kirsty, a CAMH service user who talks about her experience of a mental health issue.
Update from Anna Freud workshops
Following on from the recent Anna Freud ‘Measuring and Monitoring Children and Young People’s Mental Wellbeing ‘workshops for schools, the Anna Freud Learning Network recently filmed a 30 minute overview of the training:
Download the presentation from the workshops (PDF 1.6MB) .
Epic Friends (link opens in new window) is a website to support teenagers with mental health and emotional wellbeing issues.
Samaritans teaching resource
DEAL (link opens in new window) (Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening) is a free teaching resource aimed at students aged approximately 14 and over and inclusive of all abilities and learning styles. It has been developed by Samaritans in consultation with young people and schools across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The Solihull Approach
The Solihull Approach (link opens in new window) (NHS) is a model for professionals and parents, developed by CAMHS professionals over 20 years to support emotional health and wellbeing in children and families. The not-for-profit Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has produced a schools offer (PDF 264.5KB) and offers online courses for parents with a "School Multi-User Licence".
The CHUMS schools brochure (link opens in new window) helps you determine the best way in which you can support your students within school with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. CHUMS has a proven track record in offering a variety of therapeutic interventions for children and young people as well as training for staff.
Free counselling for children
Free counselling for children and young people is available through the local Relate team.
For more information, contact 01234 356350.
Mental health assessment tool for schools
The National Children’s Bureau’s Partnership for Well Being and Mental Health in Schools (link opens in new window) has been developing an assessment and improvement tool for school leaders. It has also offered support and advice on use of the tool.
Funding for schools on mental health
The Prime Minister’s speech on 9 Jan 2017 detailed plans aim to make mental health an everyday concern for every bit of the system, helping ensure that no one affected by mental ill-health goes unattended. It includes:
New support for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff. There will also be a major thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services across the country, led by the Care Quality Commission, to identify what is working and what is not and a new green paper on children and young people’s mental health to set out plans to transform services in schools, universities and for families.
10 questions about bullying
The PSHE Association has made available 10 questions about bullying (link opens in new window), which can be used to structure discussion in a planned PSHE lesson and includes both teacher notes and slides to use in class.
Combating prejudice in school
The ’stop stigma resources’ from the PSHE Association (link opens in new window) (for key stages 3 and 4) were produced by Cornwall Healthy Schools and focus on combating prejudice toward people with mental health issues.
The teaching resources from Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (link opens in new window) (EACH) raise awareness of emotional health and helping young people to realise when they need to seek help (suitable for key stages 2 and 3).
Latest research from Anna Freud centre
Schools in Mind
Schools in Mind (link opens in new window) is a network for school staff and allied professionals. It aims to provide a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that teachers and school leaders can utilise to support the mental health and wellbeing of their whole school community.
Please note: We do not accept responsibility for the availability or reliability of these resources and do not endorse their content.