27 April 2018

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit for Schools

One of the recommendations identified during the Whole School Approaches to Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in Liverpool review, was that schools would benefit from a Liverpool-based mental health and emotional wellbeing toolkit.

Co-developed by the Liverpool Learning Partnership, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool CCG and The Liverpool CAMHS Partnership, this toolkit is now available for all education-based establishments in Liverpool.

The government recently pledged resources to back up its proposal to provide every primary and secondary school with a member of staff trained in mental health first aid.

Over the next three years, teachers and teaching assistants will receive practical advice on how to deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide and self-harm.

The prime minister also wants to provide each school with a single point of contact with mental health services and to include more in the curriculum about mental wellbeing, particularly in relation to keeping safe online and cyberbullying.

In December 2017 the Department of Health and Department of Education published a green paper on Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision.

The paper sets out the Government’s ambition for children and young people’s mental health. It pays particular attention to the roles that schools and colleges can play in both providing services and improving outcomes.

Whilst the proposed resources have not yet been allocated, in Liverpool, great progress has already been made to ensure one member of staff within each education establishment has received mental health training. Secondary school staff received the Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA), whilst primary school staff are receiving the ROAR training – a course that responds to the top CPD priorities identified by primary schools across Liverpool;  including emotional difficulties, behavioral difficulties, parental mental distress and anxiety. You can read more about the ROAR course here.

MHFA has also been offered to staff in Alternative Education Provision. Colleagues in special schools have been able to access either MHFA or ROAR depending on their school designation.

All participants are equipped to educate other members of staff in their school about the best ways to handle mental health problems and have consequently assumed the role of mental health lead within the school.

Complementing this training, the mental health and emotional wellbeing toolkit contains a range of downloadable resources and local information designed to help teaching staff to recognise early signs of mental health issues and, working alongside the school’s ROAR or Mental Health First Aid Champion, decide on the appropriate action to take to support the child.

Speaking about the review, Elaine Rees, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Liverpool Learning Partnership, working with The Families Programme, have been delighted to fund the training of staff across the Liverpool Family of Schools. Mental health awareness and training are important for the school workforce and feedback from staff has been hugely positive.”

You can view the toolkit here.