A booklet for primary and secondary schools to support all staff working in school settings to understand how best to help children and young people in their care. Developed with our child mental health experts, the booklet explains in simple terms what to do if you are worried about a child or young person in your school, and includes information on a range of topics including anxiety, low mood and self-harm. The colourful, informative pages could also be printed and displayed as posters in staff areas.
Teaching is a tough job. It can be immensely rewarding but also physically and emotionally draining. If we want our school staff to do what is asked of them, then we need to make sure that their mental health and wellbeing is effectively supported. This booklet has been developed with our mental health experts, and aims to give school staff and Senior Leadership Teams some simple guidance and good practical examples where schools have successfully implemented wellbeing strategies. Topics featured include: What can impact or support staff wellbeing? What can Supervision look like in schools? How can senior leaders prioritise wellbeing?
Efforts taken by schools and colleges to promote the physical and mental health of the student population creates a virtuous circle, reinforcing attainment and achievement that in turn improves student wellbeing, enabling students to thrive and achieve their full potential. With half of all diagnosable mental health disorders established by the age of 14, there is a strong case to promote children and young people’s mental health. There are a range of risk and protective factors that impact on mental wellbeing. These span individual factors, family, learning environments and the wider community. The evidence tells us that the learning environment plays an important and valued role in helping protect and promote student mental wellbeing. Public Health England and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are committed to improving health outcomes for children, young people and their families, and collaborated to fund and develop this toolkit. The toolkit aims to raise awareness amongst school and college staff of the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population. This, in turn, will help school and college leaders make use of school and college level data to identify the mental wellbeing needs of students and determine how best to address these.
Just as we look after our physical health, it’s important to look after our mental health. Self-care is all about what you can do to help yourself feel better or to keep yourself feeling good. It’s a way that we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help your body and mind to relax, drift away, or be more energised. This self-care plan walks primary-aged children through a series of steps, helping them create a simple self-care plan that works for them. It helps children identify activities that they can use to support their mental health. Some of the suggested self-care activities include: music and dance mindfulness art The resource was co-written by Anna Freud Centre experts and young people, who shared ideas on self-care strategies that work for them.
Self-care is all about what you can do to help yourself feel better or to keep yourself feeling good. It’s a way that we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing. Everyone’s approach to self-care will look different. What works for you might not work for others. There are lots of different self-care strategies so you can try out different ones until you find something that works for you. This resource walks young people through a series of steps, helping them create a detailed self-care plan that works for them. The plan helps young people identify activities that they can use to support their mental health. It’s adaptable on a weekly or monthly basis, so that it can fit differing schedules or priorities. The suggested activities in the plan are split into different categories, including: physical activities emotional activities social activities practical activities The resource was co-written by Anna Freud Centre experts and young people, who shared ideas on self-care strategies that work for them.
Research suggest that 1 in 4 young women and 1 in 10 young men have self-harmed at some point in their life. Learn more about potential reasons why, how to help a student and who else to involve. A detailed guidance booklet for college staff on the topic of self-harm, explaining how staff can help if they are concerned about a student.
A template for writing your own anti-racism policy in consultation with representatives from across the whole-school community. Developing and implementing an anti-racism policy can have a number of benefits for your school or college community. It can improve the self-esteem and confidence of students, increase the recruitment and retention of racially minoritised staff, and bring more confidence in tackling racial inequalities and incidents. By demonstrating commitment to an anti-racism culture in your setting, you will contribute to better wellbeing and mental health for racially minoritised students and staff. This resource shares a general template for writing your own anti-racism policy. It is split into different sections for you to draft, with key questions to consider listed under each section.
Ways for schools to gather student voice, including suggested questions to add to a student survey. Taking a whole-school approach to anti-racism means putting the views and ideas of students at the centre of everything we do. Taking students’ views into consideration should always be a part of decision-making at your school. Schools should provide children and young people with meaningful opportunities to share their experiences, views and hopes about their school. Asking students for their opinions and ideas around anti-racism has benefits for both the school and the students and can be done in many different ways. It can provide: an improved sense of belonging and community in the school an improved sense of identity for students developing students’ confidence and self-esteem a safe space for students to share lived experiences of racism identification of issues or specific students who are having difficulties and who may need further support This resource shares a number of suggestions for gathering student voice around anti-racism. It also shares suggested questions to add to a student survey, with guidance on how best to do this.
Information about the impact of racism on school staff, and guidance for schools on how to foster a safe and supportive environment. Some schools already have excellent initiatives in place to support their staff’s mental health and wellbeing, making it a whole-school priority. Schools are becoming aware that in order to properly support the wellbeing of students, the wellbeing of staff must be treated with equal importance. This resource helps schools specifically think about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of staff from racially minoritised groups. It covers topics that may impact the mental health of staff from these groups, including the ‘hidden workload’ and the diversity of the teaching profession. The resource then shares advice for schools on action to take, and includes a case study from Rahi Popat, a teacher in Leicester.
We know that over 50% of mental illnesses start before the age of 14 and one in 8 children and young people has a mental health disorder. The Talking Mental Health animation and accompanying resources aim to open up conversations with children about mental health in school, at home and with friends. The Toolkit includes: An assembly plan A lesson plan A set of cross-curricular activities Resources to accompany the above These plans and acivities have been written by a group of teachers at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. While we recognise that every school and class is different, we have produced these as a starting point for working with years 5 and 6 at your school.
Concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people are currently in the public spotlight. However, any conversation about supporting our children’s wellbeing must also include how we support our teachers. We must do more to support school leaders, teachers and other school staff to ensure that their mental health and wellbeing is prioritised. If we don’t recognise the importance of this we will fail not only staff, but the children and young people they support. This resource is based on the views of school staff who participated through our Schools in Mind learning network and those who responded to our Teacher Tapp survey. This resource provides some helpful materials and encourages schools to reflect that if they want to make a success of promoting children’s mental health, this can only be achieved by giving the staff wellbeing the consideration it deserves. We have summarised the ten key ideas that have come out of this resource in a poster which can be downloaded and printed or shared.
This animation and accompanying teacher toolkit is aimed at supporting pupils who have recently started Year 7 or who will be preparing to transition to secondary school later in the year (Years 6 and 7). They were developed in collaboration with young people, teachers and mental health experts. The animation aims to support pupils to: Identify potential worries associated with starting secondary school Know they’re not alone if they are feeling worried Talk to a trusted adult or friend if they have any concerns Identify solutions and strategies for looking after their mental health, including self-care
In this booklet we include some examples of good practice that schools have shared with us about how they’ve responded to the challenges of lockdown. We also look at how this period of lockdown can help us think about whole-school approaches to mental health and include some suggestions about how to start this process.
Our free Supporting schools and colleges booklet provides advice and guidance for school staff about how to help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing during times of disruption to their learning.
Our free Managing unexpected endings and transitions booklet draws on the existing evidence base around endings and shares some established approaches to support children and young people. It also includes a great case study of how one primary school has maintained connections with pupils and parents in the crisis.
Our free Supporting the most vulnerable children and young people guide advises on three practical steps to help the most vulnerable children and young people during the Coronavirus pandemic. These are around risk assessment, focusing on nurture and upskilling staff.
Helping children and young people to manage anxiety: A practical guide to supporting pupils and students during periods of disruption draws on the existing evidence base around self-care and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to think about how we can support children and young people struggling with anxiety. It is aimed at supporting teachers working remotely with children, and can also be shared to support parents and carers who are playing a more significant role than ever in their child’s education at a challenging time.
This animation and accompanying teacher toolkit is aimed at Key stage 3 secondary school pupils (Years 7-9). They were developed in collaboration with young people, teachers and mental health experts. The animation aims to give young people of this age: Consistent and accessible language to talk about mental health A better understanding of mental health self-care To know who to ask for support when it is needed The Teacher Toolkit for school staff to use alongside the animation includes: A Lesson plan and PowerPoint An Assembly plan and PowerPoint Various resources and classroom exercises
As part of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families ‘You’re never too young to talk mental health’ campaign we’ve released a series of expert advice videos for schools on a range of topics. Here, Brenda McHugh, Consultant Psychotherapist, gives advice to school staff about engaging with parents.