With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place this week, the issue of young people’s mental health remains firmly in the spotlight – with concerning studies (eg. this and this) reported widely in the media.
Last week, the new President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Alison O’Sullivan, noted that schools are ‘on the front line’ of educating children about mental health and wellbeing with the UK Youth Parliament are also running a campaign on the issue.
Teachers, too, are more aware than ever of the need to address pupil mental health. Our last 2 annual member surveys identified it as the topic of greatest concern among PSHE teachers and the one with which they needed most support to teach. In response, we’ve produced guidance and quality-assured a range of relevant resources, as highlighted below:
Resources for teaching about mental health education
Last month, we published a major piece of guidance on teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing at Key Stages 1 to 4, which also signposts to external resources. You can download it here. The Association will publish lesson plans to accompany the guidance later this term.
You may also find the following supplementary documents useful:
- Mental health teaching checklist
- Ground rules for teaching about mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Talking to pupils when they make mental health disclosures
Of course pupil mental health and wellbeing is linked to a range of other factors, including body image and bullying. Our PSHE Programme of Study helps you plan a comprehensive PSHE curriculum taking all of these related factors into account.
Quality-assured teaching resources
The following mental health and emotional wellbeing related resources from other publishers have received our Quality Mark for high-quality PSHE resources:
- Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening (DEAL) by the Samaritans
- Stop Stigma by Cornwall Healthy Schools
The need for statutory PSHE education
Ultimately, making PSHE education statutory is the best way of ensuring teachers can teach about mental health confidently and safely – a point we and our campaign supporters, including many leading mental health initiatives, will be raising with the new Government.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to develop and promote resources to help teachers to address pupil mental health in the classroom.
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