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Mental Health & Wellbeing

Tackling Mental Health & Wellbeing in Schools

There has never been a more important time to speak about mental health and wellbeing – especially for thousands of children, young people and teachers who are adapting to education and different ways of living and learning in these unprecedented times.

According to Young Minds, from a survey of 2.036 young people with existing mental health needs, 80% of respondents agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse.

In a recent Parentkind survey of parents and carers, when asked to prioritise three things that schools should focus on when they re-open, mental wellbeing was the top priority.

We are here to help you put wellbeing at the heart of your school.

How Can The Education People Help?

When schools and colleges return for the Autumn term, children and young people may present with a range of mental health and wellbeing issues.

To help teachers and education staff respond to these reactions,  the Department for Education has worked with the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, Public Health England and NHS England and Improvement and an expert advisory group to develop Wellbeing for Education Return.

The Education People will be delivering funded training for schools and colleges in the new term. We will be working with other KCC partners to ensure a consistent approach to ensure effective wellbeing support for young people returning to school.

We are also delighted to have Kelly Hannaghan, a well known mental health and wellbeing consultant working for us. With an outstanding track record of working with schools, Kelly will be able to help equip teachers and educators with the skills and strategies they need to support the vulnerable children in their care.

About Kelly Hannaghan

Kelly is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant and has spent her professional career passionately focussing on enhancing the opportunities and life chances of people in education.

Through the power of her mental health training and therapeutic relationship skills, she has successfully led a school on the Wellbeing Award for Schools process, resulting in the school being the first nationally to achieve this. Kelly is an active speaker, blogger and writer of wellbeing in education and is passionate about creating the conditions under which teachers and pupils and families flourish.

Kelly consistently empowers stakeholders through initiatives to build their resilience in learning and workplaces.  Her work has been recognised by the Department for Education, The NCB and the Anna Freud Centre.

Our Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

The secret to effective wellbeing is to combine bespoke wellbeing strategies, onsite services and the highest quality of training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Kelly strongly believes that when it comes to supporting people’s wellbeing a one-size-fits-all approach will not work.

So, whether you are a school leader, a teacher, or simply active in the education space, we can tailor our consultancy service and training to your bespoke requirements.

The Education People offers a variety of different mental health and counselling services to meet schools’ needs, including in-school support, webinars and resources. Our programme of support works across three distinct areas: Staff Wellbeing, Pupil Wellbeing and Community Wellbeing.

Bespoke Training - for school staff to help improve the wellbeing of staff and pupils, delivered online and face to face

Coaching - wellbeing specialists/champions in schools to promote mentally healthy schools

Strategic Support - to provide a framework for a positive wellbeing culture in schools and retaining staff

Speaking Slots – at conferences and meetings in the wider community

If you would like support with wellbeing and mental health training at your school or early years setting, please get in touch.

Case Study - Lessness Heath Primary School

Lessness Heath is a large 3-form entry primary school, set within a multi-cultural, diverse community, with families of a wide range of social-economic backgrounds.

It is the first school nationally to be awarded with the Wellbeing Award for Schools. This wellbeing drive started from a vision that the head teacher Kate O,Connor and wellbeing leader Kelly Hannaghan had “that every stakeholder within the whole school community should have good quality mental health and wellbeing support, that ensures the best possible outcomes and a culture of people who grow resilience in life”. This mission included looking at ways to protect teacher wellbeing and safeguarding the profession.

A number of strategies were put in place including:

  • monthly wellbeing workshops for staff
  • a change team of mental health champions
  • regular mental health training for staff
  • regular emotion health measuring and monitoring for staff and pupils
  • visuals around the school environment to support mental health and wellbeing
  • CPD - delivered termly with a focus of mental health and wellbeing
  • a wellbeing notice board and a wellbeing menu of events and activities
  • the introduction of wellbeing ambassadors
  • anti-stigma awareness training and workshops for all pupils, staff and parents
  • a bespoke family empowerment program, called “Family Matters” which offers a support network for families.
  • Staff are presenting as being happier and have seen a decrease in staff absences.
  • The pupils are happy and engaged and are now able to recognise their thoughts and feelings and are able to seek help available.
  • Teachers are able to recognise symptoms and triggers of emotional health issues within their classrooms and are more confident in signposting pupils and their families for support and intervention.
  • There is a sense of togetherness and staff report that they feel their thoughts and feelings are taken into account.  Staff voices that a community spirit has grown and that there is a strength in unity amongst staff.
  • The way that staff and pupils communicate to each other is framed in a much more positive way and this is having a lasting impact on the way that children are speaking to each other.  Staff are using their newly found skills to respond to adversity in a calm approachable manner. Staff are able to help the pupil become more aware and mindful of the importance of respect and empathy.
  • The whole school community feels a sense of pride around how they are putting wellbeing at the heart of the school.