The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has created a new toolkit for schools to help them face the ever growing issue of student mental health and wellbeing.
Earlier this year an NCB and Association of School College Lecturers (ASCL) survey amongst school leaders reported more than half (55 per cent) had seen a large increase in anxiety or stress, while 79 per cent reported an increase in self harm or suicidal thoughts amongst students.
With such increasing numbers of complex mental health issues, the NCB and its Partnership for Well Being and Mental Health and in Schools has produced ‘A whole school framework for emotional well-being and mental health - A self-assessment and improvement tool for school leaders.
The framework is broken down into four stages, which are:
Stage 1: Deciding to act and identifying what is in place already
Stage 2: Getting a shared understanding and commitment to change and development
Stage 3: Building relationships and developing practices
Stage 4: Implementation and evaluation
Each step includes development questions to answer and activities to complete. The aim is to encourage the whole school come together to combat and prevent mental health issues in students and staff. It will help schools build on and develop existing practices, identify and implement new programmes, set priorities and evaluate the new ways of working.
Enver Solomon, Director of External Affairs at the National Children’s Bureau, said:
“The tool kit is an accessible easy to follow guide that will help schools improve the mental health and well-being of all pupils. We know supporting children and young people’s emotional health contributes to a positive academic environment. It can enhance attainment levels, reduce exclusions, and re-engage students who may have experienced problems.”