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Thriving: Steps towards a mentally healthy school so no child faces mental health problems alone 

Creating and maintaining a mentally healthy school may seem daunting, but help is at hand.

Creating and maintaining a mentally healthy school may seem daunting, but help is at hand.

11 Oct 2022, 12:30

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The mental health and wellbeing of students has become everybody’s business and it impacts everyone. But how confident do you feel about tackling this in your school?

As the UK’s leading provider of school-based children’s mental health services, Place2Be can provide your school staff with expert training. We have the experience to support your school community with both the know-how and the tools to improve the emotional wellbeing of children, young people, parents, and teachers. We call this a ‘whole school approach’. Last year, we provided an embedded mental health service in over 450 UK primary and secondary schools supporting a school community of around 250,000 children and young people. But our support for schools doesn’t end here. School staff across England, Scotland, and Wales, including you, can benefit from our CPD certified training programmes

In 2018, the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care jointly published Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health: A Green Paper. The Green Paper set out an ambition for “earlier intervention and prevention”, and our programmes and our programmes are helping to make this a reality by:

  • Building knowledge in school communities.
  • Assisting school staff to better understand how they can support children’s mental health.
  • Enabling the support of staff wellbeing.

We achieve this by delivering training for schools:

  • To staff that can lead on strategy and steer change via our Senior Mental Health Leads Training.
  • To the wider school workforce, creating a shared language to improve children’s mental health through our Mental Health Champions Foundation Training.

How can Place2Be help?

If you are feeling daunted by the challenges involved in creating a mentally healthy school, and pondering where to begin, or if you want guidance in delivering your plans, we are here to help!

Our expert training equips people with the skills and experience they need to support children and young people. Our training courses are informed by over 25 years’ experience delivering mental health services, and this was recognised when our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme was nominated for a Charity Award earlier this year! 

There has never been a more important time for teachers to feel equipped and confident in identifying and responding to children’s mental health needs. 1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem, and many continue to have these problems into adulthood. That’s 5 children in every classroom. Therefore, supporting children at the earliest stage is vital.

Our training programmes will help you develop your understanding of mental health, giving you the confidence to make a difference to the lives of children and young people.

Senior Mental Health Leads training

Our CPD-certified Senior Mental Health Leads training programme is Department for Education (DfE) quality-assured. It will support you in identifying your school’s priorities and develop strategic approaches to address those needs. You will develop your leadership skills within positive mental health and build a network, sharing best practices with peers from other schools.

We will provide structure to help you formulate a clear plan. Our self-assessment tool reflects evidence from research and Place2Be’s experience in schools. The tool guides participants through thinking about the strategies, policies and approaches in their school that support mental health, what works well and any gaps to focus on. We also offer the opportunity to participate in two individual consultations with a Place2Be clinician experienced in working with schools. These consultations help ensure that Mental Health Leads can apply their learning to their unique school context.

Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme

Our CPD-certified Mental Health Champions Foundation programme is an online children’s mental health training course developed from our work in schools. The programme aims to enhance professionals’ understanding of children’s mental health and introduce approaches that foster positive wellbeing in schools, colleges, and communities.

The 5-week programme will count toward your CPD development and is free for all school staff, including; teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors and school governors.

Developed to be as accessible as possible, there are no fixed timings, so you can access the course via any device at a time that suits you, and it’s broken down int 15-minute chunks to fit around your day.

How will Place2Be training benefit you and your school?

Our training courses will not only benefit you, but they will also benefit your school too.

By taking part in our Senior Mental Health Leads training, you will be able to:

  • Audit your existing mental health activity and identify areas for improvement    
  • Take a strategic approach to mental health in your school context 
  • Hone your leadership skills to effect real change for your pupils and staff  
  • Train with our team of qualified clinicians who have experience working with schools
  • Access a range of additional resources and benefits for your wider team and school community  
  • Build a network of support  

By taking part in our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme, you will be able to:

  • Determine the factors that contribute to positive mental health and wellbeing
  • Explore how early experiences shape the way we perceive ourselves and relate to others, and how those experiences create the pathways in the brain that support our development.  
  • Understand what a child’s behaviour might communicate about their underlying needs
  • Reflect on the importance of positive mental health for everyone

What are people saying about our programmes?

Senior Mental Health Leads training programme

Over 800 senior leaders are already taking part in the course

  • 96% of surveyed participants told us that after completing our programme they have a better understanding of their role as a Senior Mental Health Lead compared to 47% beforehand. “The course very much clarified for me my role in leading positive mental health in my school.” Deputy Headteacher
  • 93% of surveyed senior mental health lead participants found the consultations with our trainers, who are qualified clinicians experienced in working with schools, helpful for developing their personal leadership of mental health.​

“Thank you to my trainers for facilitating such a brilliant course. I have learned so much and have been able to cascade so much to my team that is already making such a difference to our children and staff.” Headteacher

  • 89% of survey respondents tell us that taking part in our Senior Mental Health Leads programme has given them a clear plan of how to prioritise their school’s mental health activity compared to 26% beforehand. 

” We have utilised this (programme) to create a mental health and wellbeing action plan for our school. It was great to meet with and learn from colleagues, discussing and sharing the practice taking place in our schools.” Headteacher

Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme

Over 60,000 school staff have taken part in the programme.

  • 94% would recommend the programme​ 

“… I now feel more confident supporting children’s mental health within my school and in the wider school community.  Completing this course has also made me think more about how I need to look after my own wellbeing and mental health to enable me to fully support others ….I have already put a lot of what I have learnt into practice”. Teaching Assistant

  • 91% think the course has increased their capacity to lead a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing within their work 

The Mental Health Champions training has been second to none! It covered all areas and was so well delivered that it is has stuck with me and I refresh my knowledge by revisiting the different sections”. Pastoral support in a primary school

  • 71% learned something in the course that resulted in a change in their actions, behaviour, or attitude in their workplace.

“I have really enjoyed this course. I have found it very informative, and it has had a positive impact on my practice. It has also made me consider the importance of self-care and my own mental health. Thank you so much”. – Teacher in Scotland

We are passionate about what we do and the difference it makes to school communities, which is why we’re delighted to share news of the positive impact our approach is having in schools. We hope this will inspire you to join us on the journey of transforming your school community into a more mentally healthy place, in a sustainable way.

How do I book?

More information on Place2Be’s training can be found on our website.

If you want to join over 800 senior leaders who are already taking part in our CPD certified Senior Mental Health Leads training programme, please visit the Senior Mental Health Leads course webpage. As a Department for Education quality assured provider, grant funding is available for eligible schools in England.

To book a free place on our Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme, visit the website to see upcoming cohort dates.

We regularly release new dates for both our training programmes, so if you don’t find dates that suit you right now, do come back and visit our webpage later, when you might find a date that suits you better.

The journey doesn’t end there

Once you complete our training, you will join over 9,000 education professionals in the Place2Be Staffroom, a dedicated space where you can access exclusive additional resources, tips, and learning. 

In the Staffroom, you can:  

  • Gain access to new materialsandtools to foster positive wellbeing in schools 
  • Access projects from Place2Be’s Art Room to use in your school  
  • View live webinarsand Q&A sessions on a host of mental health issues  
  • Continue to learn about the mental health of the whole school approach 
  • Share your experiences and tips with your colleagues across the UK  

We know that our training positively impacts the lives of children and young people across the country—and we will endeavour to extend that impact as far as possible in the future.

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