Schools in Mind is a network set up by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families to help school professionals in finding, evaluating and implementing solutions that promote the mental health and wellbeing of entire school communities.
Below is the Schools in Mind newsletter for autumn 2016.
Measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools and colleges
The development of this toolkit was commissioned by Public Health England and led by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF). It provides schools in the UK with information about a range of psychometrically sound and effective wellbeing instruments. It also provides details about how to use them, with real-life examples from schools that have used the measures. Dr Jessica Deighton led the development of the toolkit in collaboration with the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) and Common Room. Jessica said: “Our ambition is that all schools and colleges are able to embed measurement systems that help them review the mental health and well-being needs of their students. The toolkit will also help schools assess whether their approaches to mental health are having a positive impact.”
Child in Mind
Child in Mind is a series of podcasts from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families which launched earlier this month. Each 20-minute episode focuses on an important area of child and family mental health with titles including childhood anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, ADHD and depression. The series is presented by BBC Radio 4’s Claudia Hammond and features a young person or parent sharing their experience with an expert in the field. The series have been endorsed by our patron, the Duchess of Cambridge. They are available on our iTunes podcast channel (click subscribe to listen) and Soundcloud account
Each Schools in Mind newsletter features a focus on practical advice and guidance from clinical experts. This term we hear from David Trickey, Acute Trauma Specialist at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
Helping pupils cope with Trauma
There are five sensible and pragmatic principles, informed by the evidence, that can be very helpful in guiding the response of professionals and those around the child or young person who has experienced a traumatic event.
1. Increase safety
What can be done to make this young person feel safer? Are they worried that it will happen again or that they may be involved in some way? Sometimes the intervention of the police can help, other times they just need reassurance and someone to listen to their concerns with a view to making a plan for how they can ensure that they are safe.
2. Enable calming
What strategies does the young person have to help them to calm down? Are they still engaging in activities (sport, socialising) that would help them to calm down, or are they constantly on edge? Who is best placed to help them to calm – teachers, carers?
3. Enhance social support
Do they need a bit of help to continue to connect with their social support or do the family need some help to support them? Sometimes young people isolate themselves at these times – just when it can be really helpful to be with others.
In the rush to try to help – sometimes others end up making the person feel even more powerless. They don’t usually need a specialist to come rushing in to do something to fix them. But they are more likely to need someone that that already know and trust to encourage them, support them, listen to them and help them plan what they are going to do.
What are their plans for the future?
A team led by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has been awarded £2.8 million by Big Lottery Fund to support partnerships involved in the £75 million HeadStart Programme.
HeadStart is a prevention programme aiming to improve the mental well-being of at-risk 10 to 16 year-olds. Six partnerships across England (Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, Newham, Wolverhampton) were selected to deliver the HeadStart programme and will offer a range of approaches in schools and communities. These include peer mentoring, mental health ‘first aid’ training, staying safe online, tackling social media bullying and special resilience lessons.
Over 7 years, the learning team led by the Centre will support the partnerships in collecting and analysing data and disseminating and implementing what they have learnt so that the approaches can be gradually improved.
The team will explore whether the approaches have had an impact on the mental well-being of young people. In particular, it will explore if HeadStart leads to benefits to young people’s academic performance and employability, as well as if it reduces the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviours, such as becoming involved in drugs or crime. The aim of the evaluation is to provide information on the impact of increased investment in adolescent mental health prevention. The evaluation is being led by the Centre, in collaboration with the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC), the University of Manchester, London School of Economics, and Common Room.
Schools Research Opportunities
- Evidence of gender-sensitive approaches whilst protecting or promoting children & young people’s emotional and mental health.
- Alternative Providers with students aged 11 – 14 required to test new app which helps manage students emotional wellbeing in the classroom
- Study that explores brain development and function in daughters of mothers with eating disorders needs support from primary and secondary schools to publicise research
- London secondary schools required for a research project that looks at the effects on stress and how teenagers and parents talk to each other
Counselling Training for Schools
The London and South East CYP IAPT Learning Collaborative is offering places on Postgraduate Certificate Children and Young People’s IAPT Therapy: Evidence-Based Counselling Practice (EBCP) to its partnership members. The collaborative is pleased to be able to offer places to schools more widely through the Schools in Mind network. Please note the deadline for applications is 31st October 2016.
Schools in Mind Events
- Tuesday 8th November 2016, 16:30 – Whole School Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Thursday 23rd March 2017, 08:30 –Engaging with parents / Multi-Family Therapy
- Friday 14th July 2017, 08:30 – Brain Growth and Trauma
Please RSVP via firstname.lastname@example.org
Related Events, Conferences and Courses
- Mentalization-focused Multi-Family Groups in School
- Multi-Family Therapy
- Talking about Self Harm: For Frontline School Staff (Dates TBC)
You can find out about more events related to children and young people’s mental health here.