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14 May 2019
By Liam Jeffery

MHAW 19 - Mental Health & Wellbeing: A Whole School Approach Conference

Mental Health Awareness week has arrived and this year’s theme is Body Image. In a world in which increasing pressure is placed on people to reach unattainable levels of “beauty”, The Education People think this is timely and are huge advocates of encouraging people to #BeBodyKind. Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation states that ‘50% of mental health problems are established before the age of 14,' therefore it is crucial that interventions are made early to prevent rather than manage.

CEO, James Roberts said 'As the major provider of educational services to schools and Early Years settings in Kent, The Education People are fully aware of the profound impact that poor mental health can have on the lives and educational outcomes for children and young people. In particular, this year’s theme of Body Image is ever more important in an age of technology and social media, where body dissatisfaction is becoming more and more common and presenting a significant risk factor for mental health problems. This is why we are promoting and supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, and are running a dedicated conference on this topic in November of this year.'

The conference is titled ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Whole School Approach’ and we are joined by some highly regarded keynote speakers in the field:

Dr Pooky Knightsmith

Drawing on examples of existing good practice and the growing evidence base, Pooky will help you to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses in your school’s approach to mental health and will provide a range of practical ideas and trusted resources for developing a provision and ethos that better promotes the mental health of every learner – and every teacher too.

Helen Stollery

Helen joined Nurtureuk as a National Training Officer in September 2007 and is now the Head of Quality and Standards. Helen cares passionately about the social and emotional wellbeing of children and believes wholeheartedly that nurture has the power to turn lives around.

Dr Tina Rae

Tina will focus on the young person’s perspective and the importance of seeking the child’s views in relation to mental health interventions at both an individual and whole school level. She will highlight key issues around informed consent and the importance of developing and differentiating the wellbeing curriculum at a preventative level for all children and young people.

Professor Barry Carpenter

In children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities there are at least two or three times as many with some form of mental health need. New legislation in England has at long last given an official focus for schools on Mental Health with the creation of the designated area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health. An overarching aim of Barry’s presentation will be to provide schools with signposts to begin this journey, for and with our children.

Workshops -

There will also be a range of practical workshops for delegates to attend throughout the course of the day, including workshops from:

• Lessness Heath Primary School – recently awarded with the Optimus Education Wellbeing Award for Schools, in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau
• Headstart - part of Kent County Council’s Early Help and Preventative Services which aims to help young people cope better when faced with difficult circumstances in their lives, preventing them from experiencing common mental health problems.
• Place2Be - the leading national children's mental health charity, whose Patron is The Duchess of Cambridge
• Holmer Lake Primary School – The Headteacher will be looking at effective Interagency working to ensure that the recommendations of the DfE Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision can be fulfilled

This conference is open to all education professionals and will be hugely beneficial to all practitioners.

Find out more and book your place here: Mental Health & Well-being: A Whole School Approach