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Affordable mental health and wellbeing support for teachers, pupils, and parents

Everyone working in education knows the frightening statistics. One in five young people have a probable mental health disorder and, as reported by Schools Week earlier in January, schools and mental health services are struggling to help, with talk of suicide and self-harm amongst young people on the increase. Teachers are in an extremely difficult situation, finding themselves at the coal face of the UK’s mental health crisis with little or no resources to support them.

Everyone working in education knows the frightening statistics. One in five young people have a probable mental health disorder and, as reported by Schools Week earlier in January, schools and mental health services are struggling to help, with talk of suicide and self-harm amongst young people on the increase. Teachers are in an extremely difficult situation, finding themselves at the coal face of the UK’s mental health crisis with little or no resources to support them.

8 Feb 2024, 9:00

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Endsleigh’s mental health and wellbeing support services are available 24/7, 365 days a year, not just for pupils, but for teachers, parents, and caregivers, and there are different levels of support to suit schools’ budgets. 

Endsleigh’s Pupil Assistance Programme

From the focus groups and in depth interviews we held with schools, we know that education providers are struggling with out of hours support, and that pupils want to be able to access help at a time that suits them. Those who care for young people with mental health or wellbeing issues also need support, and having access to professional guidance and advice when needed is key. Our Pupil Assistance Programme is a flexible solution to support these challenges and helps alleviate pressure from the school, teachers, and caregivers.

Endsleigh currently provides more than one million students in the UK with in-the-moment mental health support through their school, college, university, or student accommodation provider. And because we understand that teachers and parents need guidance when supporting a young person with their mental health, our caregiver helpline which gives access to qualified counsellors is available to them any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.

What kind of support does our Pupil Assistance Programme provide?

With 24/7 access to qualified counsellors and a range of wellbeing tools and specialist resources aimed at 11–18 year olds, their teachers, parents, and guardians, the programme provides:

  • Holistic approach

Designed to support not only pupils, but also those who are providing their care, such as teachers, school staff, parents, and guardians.

  • Out of hours support

24/7 access to qualified counsellors with specialist knowledge of dealing with children and young people – support outside regular school hours.

  • Digital support tools

Digital wellbeing support tools to help pupils, school staff, parents, and guardians – tools can be used at any time to suit the individual.

  • Youth mental health first aid training

Build a network of mental health supporters with youth mental health first aid training for your staff and pupils aged 16 and above.

  • Staff supervision sessions

Share concerns in a safe environment and gain valuable guidance and advice in group sessions with a qualified counsellor. For up to 12 members of staff.

  • No waiting lists

Structured counselling available with no waiting lists. Faster support means children are less likely to miss out on school.

Our wellbeing programme is divided into modules so schools can choose specific solutions to suit their needs and their budget. The most popular services are:

24/7 Pupil and Caregiver Helpline

Immediate support when it’s needed.

Around the clock support, not only for 16-18 year olds, but for teachers, pastoral staff, parents, and guardians who need guidance when supporting a young person with their mental health. The helpline gives access to qualified counsellors 365 days a year, any time of the day or night, and includes risk protocols designed to support any existing services in place at your school.

“I spoke to a counsellor at around 3am on the student assistance program phone line when in crisis. She was warm, listened when I needed, talked when I needed, and was the first conversation I’ve had in months where I’ve not doubted the legitimacy of someone’s sincerity. I cannot speak highly enough of the support she gave. She was empathetic, encouraging and everything I could’ve hoped for from a support service. I’ve rang crisis lines before and she is far above standard, I do not feel there are words for the level of kindness and the impact it’s had on my wellbeing.”

July 2023. Student Assistance helpline.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Proactive wellbeing support.

Create wellbeing warriors within your school and a network of wellbeing supporters. Take a proactive approach within your school community to learn the skills to spot triggers and signs of mental health issues and have the confidence to reassure and offer support. The training also gives you the tools to look after your own mental wellbeing. Pupils and school staff can become accredited youth mental health first aiders to support young people aged 8-18 years old.

“Very good course. Should be taken by every teacher in the country… the actual content was exceptionally important and useful and should be given to as many people as possible.”

September 2023. Youth Mental Health First Aid Training attendee.

Digital CBT Support

Online, counsellor guided support outside of school hours.

Accessible, impactful resource available to teachers, pupils, and parents/guardians outside of school hours. Delivered through a digital platform which uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help individuals to improve and encourage them to change the way they think and behave. A counsellor will provide guided support through the SilverCloud modules to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved.

Staff Supervision Sessions

Online, group guided support for up to 12 members of staff.

Online discussion with a professional counsellor to discuss specific issues and themes that your teachers and other employees are currently facing. The counsellor will offer advice and guidance on key concerns in a supportive environment that’s aimed at building confidence amongst colleagues.  

We can help you provide mental health support at a level that supports your budget. To find out more, email pupilwellbeing@endsleigh.co.uk or visit Pupil wellbeing packages for schools and academies | Endsleigh

The importance of early mental health intervention

When it comes to mental health, early intervention is key to improving the quality of a child’s home and family life. Supporting children can help them perform better at school, improve their long-term outcomes, and help them develop strengths and skills that prepare them for university and adult life.

School-based interventions have evidence of improving not only pupils’ wellbeing but also their mental health and behaviour and have been shown to improve outcomes including resilience and self-esteem, reduce anxiety or depressive symptoms, and prevent violent and aggressive behaviour.

Addressing mental health concerns early on have also been shown to improve academic achievement. Research shows that children with stronger social and emotional skills are more likely to graduate from college or university, to succeed in their careers, have positive work and family relationships, have good mental and physical health, and to become engaged citizens.

Early intervention makes a difference

Endsleigh’s Pupil Assistance Programme has been developed in partnership with Health Assured, the UK and Ireland’s most trusted independent health and wellbeing specialist and the only BACP-accredited  provider at organisational level. Kayleigh Frost, Head of Clinical Support at Health Assured explains why early intervention in schools is so important.

Many school age children don’t know how to ask for help. They don’t know how to articulate the emotions they might be feeling and because many adults either aren’t attuned to such nuanced approaches or feel uncomfortable talking about emotions, it’s easy to brush off or invalidate what could be a cry for help.

We need to talk about our mental health and not shy away from coming forward with our challenges. The issues still seem to come from adults. They get scared that they’re going to say the wrong thing or that they’re going to offend the person.”

Kayleigh Frost, Head of Clinical Support at Health Assured

That’s why services like Endsleigh’s Pupil Assistance Programme are so valuable. When a young person feels empowered to speak up there’s someone they can talk to who can support them with whatever they need.

It’s a jigsaw with many pieces that need to fit together. Caregivers need to learn to open up conversations with younger people so that talking about mental health doesn’t become a taboo subject. It may not be something that comes naturally, so that’s just as important to address as is access to professional support when it’s needed.

“Normalising how important it is to talk about if you’re sad, or if you’re angry because when you’re young you don’t necessarily understand what anxiety is, but you can feel sad and you can feel angry and you can feel upset – and it’s about opening up those conversations,”.

Kayleigh Frost, Head of Clinical Support at Health Assured

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Teachers, parents, guardians, and caregivers need to step out of their comfort zone and provide the right environment to help empower young people to speak up. Charities like Young Minds has lots of practical advice and tips on how to encourage your child to open up about their feelings, and services such as Endsleigh’s Pupil Assistance Programme provides access to professional support and advice for teachers, parents, and caregivers.

Sadly, communication between adults and young people is only part of the problem. Long waiting times for professional mental health support means the help isn’t there when needed.

It can be months and months before you can access help via the NHS and that depends if you meet certain thresholds,”. “If you have what they determine to be low level depression or anxiety but are high functioning, it’s unlikely you’ll be offered support. But these are the people that are really at risk of developing serious mental health conditions. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provided by the NHS for example, I think the waiting list goes up to 24 months in some areas and to qualify you might have to be at ‘severe’ level. It also depends on where you live, some areas are more affluent and so access to support is a lot easier.”

Kayleigh Frost, Head of Clinical Support at Health Assured

Young people who have learned the tools they need to cope with pressures, may find it easier to transition from school to university and from university to work life. While trauma you experience as a young person will not be the same as traumas you may face as an adult, it’s easier to retain information when you’re younger. Your brain has the capacity to absorb and be receptive to the skills you learn through counselling that will help you in later life.

Safer Schools

Endsleigh is passionate about supporting schools to manage their risks and provide safer environments for children and employees, whether it be through our wellbeing services, risk management and commercial insurances, or by protecting your finances and data through cyber security. In a recent webinar we talk about risk management and providing a holistic approach to school wellbeing. Please click on the image to find out more. 

You can find more information on our Pupil Assistance Programme here or email us on pupilwellbeing@endsleigh.co.uk 

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