Mental Health of the School Community: Collaboration agreement signed between Mater Boni Consilii St Joseph school Paola (Malta) and Minds Ahead (UK)

“Through this collaboration agreement with Mater Boni Consilii St Joseph Paola we will also have the opportunity to offer accredited programmes to Maltese educators, provide training to educators, parents and students on mental health, organise national conferences and webinars and offer national professional learning development sessions to the Maltese community”. – Dean Johnstone, CEO and […]

Tackling mental health inequalities

Tackling mental health inequalities

There is a solid evidence base that whilst mental health challenges or illness can affect anyone, the risks are higher for some groups who face structural discrimination, such as those living in poverty, Black and Asian, LGBTQ+, or having a physical disability.  The Centre for Mental Health has made recommendations to tackle these inequalities. Those relevant […]

How To Help Students Get The Most Out Of Mental Health Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week

Young people face many challenges that can affect their mental health. From exam stress to cyberbullying – sometimes they may come to you for crucial advice and guidance across a variety of issues. So, let’s explore how you can help the children around you improve their mental health, whilst discussing some key symptoms and signs […]

Inequality and impact on mental health

Inequality and impact on mental health

In this Ted talk, epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson looks at the evidence linking social inequality and mental ill-health.  The impact of inequality on mental health and our social relationships  As a school leader, it is well worth considering how inequalities are either reinforced or reduced, within your school and what more can be done to reduce […]

School culture: which elements are perceived to be most important for student mental health?

school culture and mental health

A qualitative study in three English secondary schools identified four overarching dimensions of school culture that were perceived by respondents to impact on student mental health.   Key findings from the study in UK secondary schools on school culture and student mental health: The research explored four aspects of culture:  Dimensions of school culture Respondents identified […]

Infographic: The School Mental Health Specialist

The School Mental Health Specialist programme infographic

Read our infographic about this DfE assured qualification, and enquire now before September 2022 start date. Funding assisted! The School Mental Health Specialist will know first hand the needs of their students and can, through training, development and supervision, match these to the culture and processes within the school. The School Mental Health Specialist programme […]

Young people’s mental health, social media and myth busting

In February 2019 Rachel Schraer, writing for the BBC’s ‘Reality Checker’, wrote that the increase in young people (under 16) with mental health conditions had risen from 11.4% to 13.6% between 1999 and 2017. This, it was asserted, was much smaller than expected. This analysis stood in stark contrast to the Children’s Commissioner’s report on […]

Levelling up wellbeing – a mission without a plan!

Levelling up wellbeing

On the 2nd of February the government released their Levelling Up strategy. The government were right to have wellbeing as one of their 12 levelling up missions. However, it is very disappointing to see a policy agenda for 11 of these missions, with the wellbeing mission being left out. The government is aiming that ‘by […]

Give the gift of gratitude this Christmas with TAP Thank and Praise!

TAP Thank and Praise!

By Kerry Hill (FCCT MA) As we approach 2022, we reflect back on two years of incredibly difficult times globally, as well as nationally. This Christmas may again be one which is unlike previous ‘normal’ holiday seasons, (which in some ways seem a distant memory), without large social gatherings celebrating together, connecting and sharing in […]

Spotting the signs of poor mental wellbeing in students in secondary schools

Spotting the Signs of Poor Mental Wellbeing

Trying to spot when a young person is struggling with their mental wellbeing unless they verbalise it is one of the toughest parts of working in inclusion in a busy secondary school. The reason why? All of the tell-tale signs can be linked to puberty and natural developments. For example, all of the below are […]

Top tips for teachers to support good mental health and wellbeing

Most of us know that physical health and mental wellbeing are closely related and that paying attention to things like sleep, diet, movement and exercise are important. As teachers, we advise students, colleagues, friends and family on such matters but how often do we practice what we preach? Teachers mental health and wellbeing: From knowing […]

Teacher Wellbeing – More Than Just a Breakfast?

Teacher Wellbeing

Writing in the Guardian, Adams observed that workload for teachers is leading to a recruitment and retention crisis (Adams, 2018). In recent years staff wellbeing has come sharply into focus and staff mental health is as important as student mental health, with a recent Guardian article citing that ‘the number of teachers seeking mental health […]

We are a training provider on the DfE assured list! Don’t miss the chance to apply for a DfE grant to fund your senior mental health lead training programme

We are a training provider on the DfE assured list! Don't miss the chance to apply for a DfE grant to fund your senior mental health lead training programme

We are proud to announce that, as the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, our Senior Mental Health Lead Training programmes have been approved to be a part of the Department for Education Approved Training Course Provider Framework. All state schools and colleges in England will […]

GCSE results and the correlation with children and young people’s mental health

GCSE results and the correlation with children and young people's mental health

GCSE results day 2021 is today and according to The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) study, published in the BMJ Open Journal, mental health at ages 11-14 was independently linked to educational success at age 16. The study analysed responses from 1,100 children aged 11-14 from the Understanding Society study and used the National […]

Consultation: The views from senior leaders on mental health in schools and colleges

Working with our partners at Leeds Beckett University, as the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, we consulted with highly engaged senior leads for mental health from 12 schools to inform the House of Commons Select Committee evaluation of the government’s implementation of mental health strategy. Here we share their views: The […]

Teacher mental health: Will The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter plan make a difference?

The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter has been launched by the Department of Education, and applies to schools, colleges, and further educational institutions in England. It was co-created by the DfE’s expert group on staff wellbeing, which included OfSTED and the teaching unions. According to the guidance document: The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter is a declaration […]

Measuring wellbeing and mental health in schools

Measuring wellbeing in schools

When discussing mental health I often get asked on the best way to measure wellbeing by school leaders and educational professionals. Before answering the question it is worth considering the desire and risks of measuring.  Why measure wellbeing in schools? Like any activity before diving in, it is important to step back and consider what […]

How effective are resilience building programmes within Primary Schools?

By Priya Mitchell MA, School Counsellor and Designated Lead, The British School Al Khubairat As the sole Counsellor within an International School with 1900+ students on roll, my diary is constantly full and it can be difficult to find appointments for the near daily referrals to the Counselling Service. Having completed the 1st Year of […]

Weighing up the costs of counselling as a mental health school-based intervention

Counselling is one of the most common school-based interventions for mental health and wellbeing for young people. This type of therapy allows young people to explore their thoughts and emotions in a non-judgemental, safe and confidential environment. Most schools source out their own counselling provision from an external provider paid through their existing budgets and will likely […]

Young people’s mental health: School-based anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying projects improve LGBT+ mental health

It is well documented that young people who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to face bullying, discrimination and mental health challenges, compared to their heterosexual peers.  Key findings on young people’s mental health support in schools International research summarised by NIHR School for Public Health Research  has found that there is a link between […]

Growing our team for the School Mental Health Specialist programme

Online mental health support

We are extremely excited to announce that Dominique Zakkour and Claire Sewell have joined our team at Minds Ahead as Learning and Development Specialists. They will be the tutors on the School Mental Health Specialist Programme as well as working with the wider Minds Ahead team. Welcome to the Minds Ahead team! Dominique Zakkour Claire […]

Mental health support for young people after pandemic: Preventative and early-intervention strategies needed in schools and colleges

Mental health support for young people after pandemic

The Education Policy Institute has examined aspects of mental health among secondary age children and linked these to social, demographic and other key factors and influencers.  They recommend that schools are given the resources to support mental health as well as more access to training, support and guidance. Recommendations relevant to schools and colleges: A […]

Ways to get online mental health support for teachers and students

We have put together a list of some of the online mental health resources that are available in the UK to support you and others in your community, profession or setting.  If you are thinking about ending your life or acting on thoughts of suicide, please call emergency services on 999 or The Samaritans on […]

Mental health in schools: Belonging is essential for well-being

There is a robust link between having a sense of safety, belonging and well-being and the student’s engagement and performance in education.  Research by UCL has found that having a sense of belonging at primary, secondary, FE & HE is a reliable predictor of attainment and is often lower among marginalised ethnic groups. There is evidence that the […]

Teachers’ mental health and wellbeing: Recent report reveals that we must act now

Teachers' mental health

 “It is time to start taking the mental health of our teachers and educators seriously.” – Education Support  The latest annual report of school and college wellbeing staff by Education Support has shown there is more work to do to protect the mental health of the education workforce. This survey was conducted in the middle of […]

Mental health facts in the UK: Mental health is created in communities

Mental health is created in communities UK Facts

The final report by the Centre for Mental Health, The Commission for Mental Health Equality, is a key reading for any education professional interested in improving mental health in their setting.  It firmly positions mental health as something beyond the individual but is something that is a collective good and a collective responsibility.  The report highlights […]

Summary of Mental Health & Wellbeing of England’s Children & Young People, 2020

Young people and childrens mental health in England

In this video we present an infographic on the key points from two key government reports: DfE State of the Nation report, into children & young people’s wellbeing, 2020 & NHS Digital Mental Health of C&YP Wave 1 follow up (2020): At Minds Ahead, we have developed a new and comprehensive school-based mental health […]

Black lives matter: the steps we have taken

Over the past months we’ve seen demonstrations globally in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police in the United States.  We know that racism and anti-Blackness are not only an American problem, but one that is just as pervasive in the UK. Minds Ahead is committed to addressing mental […]

Staying at home – Ways to wellbeing #coronatimes

We realise there is a lot of information online at the moment to support yourself and your family through these stressful times.  Therefore, to save you some time we’ve categorised what we’ve found using the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Framework to allow you to focus on what you need to.  For evidence on this framework […]

Minds Ahead speaks to LBC news

On the 19th of March at 8.40am Shelly spoke with Liza Aziz on what Minds Ahead think the DfE should be considering to protect the wellbeing of staff and students. Click the play button below to listen to this interview considering the announcement on the 18th March.   To view the Google doc Shelly mentioned […]

Department for Education fails to integrate Mental Health into Safeguarding Policy

The Department for Education are consulting on changes to the main safeguarding policy used by schools and colleges, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE), The aim is to make clear that safeguarding and promoting children’s mental health is a whole school and college responsibility and that systems should be in place to ensure this. However, […]

Key findings from the longest running health behaviour study of young people

A national survey of the health of secondary aged pupils was published in January 2020. The data was collected in 2018 and examined the school environment and found these key points: – Nearly a quarter of young people said they liked school “a lot”, while around half of like school “a bit”. The amount of […]

Developing the evidence-base: public mental health

Public mental health takes a population approach to mental health. This improves the coverage, outcomes and coordination of the prevention of mental illness as well as mental wellbeing promotion. It aims to sustainably improve mental health for the population by working with a range of public, third sector, other organisations, local communities and individuals. Having attended several […]

PISA Wellbeing data – what should a school leader take away from it?

The PISA Wellbeing data was released late December, by which time most people were winding down and getting ready for minced pies, doughnuts and other cultural appropriate food.  It is a rather lengthy document of 350+ pages so we’ve highlighted three points to consider that may prompt discussion and evaluation with your team:   UK […]

Key take aways from the Teacher Wellbeing Survey

Tackling stress in our schools Almost three quarters of staff working in schools and colleges describe themselves as stressed, a figure which rises to 84% for senior leaders. These statistics have increased in the last three years. For the third year, Education Support has produced a report summarising the mental health and wellbeing of professionals […]

International representation at the School Mental Health Specialist Design Group

I was privileged to attend a round table discussion at the House of Commons on the 9th October on the topic of Mental Health Specialists within schools which was chaired by Minds Ahead and attended briefly by Nicky Morgan (M.P). The professionals sitting around the table all had the same passion – to improve the […]

Heather Madsen, Headteacher of Red Oak Primary school, Lowestoft, reflects on the first meeting of the School Mental Health Specialist Design Group

A gathering of professionals from a range of backgrounds across Educational settings and specialists in Mental Health attended Parliament on Wednesday 9th October to discuss, debate and evaluate the ways in which schools could develop an accredited programme of study enabling key staff to manage and support mental health and well being within schools. Given the […]

Four proactive strategies for mental health in schools

The Department for Health and Social Care are consulting on a new strategy focused on ‘proactive, predictive and personalised care’ aimed at prevention rather than fixing problems once they emerge. This is a wide-ranging consultation addressing diet, smoking, physical activity, immunisations, genetics and resistance to medications. This article looks at the mental health aspects in […]

Kate Greaves

Kate Greaves

Kate is our Learning and Development Specialist Coach, focussing on supporting our DfE funded SMHL programmes, providing coaching supervision for our School Mental Health Specialist programme and supporting our masterclass provision to the wider education community. Having worked in high schools and sixth form colleges as a teacher and leader for nearly 20 years, Kate […]