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Brighton - Early action on mental health

Schools across Brighton and Hove are adopting new techniques aimed at identifying and helping pupils who suffer from low self-esteem.

More than 20 schools in the city now use assessment tools rolled out as part of the Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TMHS) programme, in the latest drive to equip schools with the knowledge to spot pupils experiencing emotional problems so they can be helped early on.

Teachers and learning mentors have been trained in various methods of supporting children, including the use of art, music, and drama. The project has also trialled yoga as a way to teach children to relax and manage their feelings better.

Dan Wilson, assistant headteacher at the city's Patcham High School, said: "TMHS has helped us identify students with mental health issues. We have trialled group counselling so that the extra resources we receive benefit as many pupils as possible."

All Brighton and Hove schools are now being invited to learn about the identification tools, as well as undertake other training.

Vanessa Brown, cabinet member for children and young people at the city council, said: "Brighton and Hove is an innovator in this field and the results are fantastic. What we are trying to do is embed these simple approaches so that every school in this city is equipped to identify pupils that are experiencing emotional difficulties, and can be helped early on." AR.

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