Supporting wellbeing at school: new guidelines for policymakers and educators

Supporting wellbeing at school: new guidelines for policymakers and educators cover image report

A report recently published by the European Commission presents the initial findings from its expert group dedicated to improving supportive learning environments for vulnerable learners and enhancing wellbeing and mental health in schools.

Summary of Key Findings

The report on wellbeing and mental health in schools highlights several critical findings. Firstly, it emphasises the alarming decline in the wellbeing of children and adolescents, which is influenced by factors such as school pressure, body image issues, social media use, and bullying. The report underscores the need for a whole-system, whole-school approach (WSA) to effectively address these issues, integrating mental and physical health support through curricular and extracurricular activities, creating supportive environments, and building social and emotional competence and resilience​​.

A significant gap exists between the mental health of adolescent girls and boys, with girls showing poorer outcomes, especially as they age​​. Schools are identified as crucial environments for early detection and intervention of mental health issues, provided they have adequate training and support. This involves collaboration with mental health professionals, individualised support for at-risk students, and the active participation of parents and the community​​.

Minds Ahead’s Viewpoint and Contribution

Minds Ahead aligns with the findings of this report, advocating for the critical role of schools in supporting mental health and wellbeing. We believe in the whole-school approach, emphasising the integration of wellbeing principles into all aspects of school life, including initial teacher education (ITE). By providing educators with qualifications focused on mental health and wellbeing, Minds Ahead ensures that teachers and school staff are equipped with the necessary skills to foster positive environments and address mental health issues proactively​​.

This viewpoint is reflected in Minds Ahead’s commitment to delivering specialised training for educators. By enhancing teachers’ and school staffs’ understanding and capabilities in supporting student wellbeing, the organisation plays a vital role in creating safe, supportive, and effective learning environments. This not only helps in early identification and intervention of mental health issues but also promotes the overall academic and personal growth of students​​.

The report’s findings and Minds Ahead’s initiatives highlight the importance of comprehensive mental health support in schools. By empowering educators through targeted qualifications, Minds Ahead contributes significantly to the holistic development and wellbeing of both students and teachers.

Discover Minds Ahead's initiatives to support mental health in schools

References:

  • European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Wellbeing and mental health at school – Guidelines for school leaders, teachers and educators, Publications Office of the European Union, 2024, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2766/760136