Supporting children/young people through train the trainer approaches to mental health and wellbeing.
Share Big Idea:
Head Teachers / School Leaders, Pastoral and Support Staff, School Teachers, Settings & Early Years Practitioners, Trusts
Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, Workforce
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Why was the project needed?
Pre and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of staff and children/young people who were struggling with mental health and wellbeing increased significantly. The project was put in place to support staff and children/young people with mental health and wellbeing.
What happened and what was the impact?
The project was delivered in two phases:
Phase 1 focussed on staff and included the provision of resources and training; allowing for the creation of a support network and Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) programme
Phase 2 focussed on children/young people and included embedding practice some intervention and bespoke offerings where necessary.
The service engaged with all schools in Ipswich Opportunity Area, in line with, and guided by, the needs of the school/setting. Training and resources included Keys to Inclusion, Emotional Literacy Support, access to Mental Health Bundle of self-paced training, invitation to participate in Mental Health Network and access to Wellbeing in Education support pages. Assigning schools/setting to a psychology and therapeutic colleague to help ensure school/setting needs could be meet.
What did and didn't work?
There was significant demand for the project, particularly ELSA.
The programme was needs led rather than prescriptive. We utilised existing and trusted services meaning that there were fewer barriers to engagement.
However, the pandemic meant that schools couldn’t engage as quickly as they often wished; this meant a delay in implementing approaches in some cases. Phase 2 implementation rollout in summer term was not as successful as hoped due to end of academic year commitments (exams etc) for key staff.
How did you measure success?
All schools in the Opportunity Area were invited to attend the Mental Health (MH) Network meetings; attendance has built over time. The MH Network was scoped over 2 meetings (with representatives from schools present). The network meets regularly; content in the meetings to date has included:
Supporting staff with breakout room discussions re MH Lead role
Workshops on Emotionally Based School Avoidance and Anxiety.
We have established close links with the Mental Health and Schools Team (MHST) Leader and have used link to aid our planning this work and in mapping the support offer, including active membership of the MH Network steering group.
As at July 2021 we had reached 50+ children/young people directly and more than 300 other indirectly.
Ingredients For Success
A needs-led approach allowed for greater flexibility for when schools/setting could access the offerings. There was a variety of learning available which schools/setting could access at a convenient time, therefore we provided a fully flexible offering.
How is the Project Sustainable
Although the programme is no longer funded by the Opportunity Area, schools/settings can continue to access support as and when needed via alternative funding streams .
What are the Long Term Impacts
We hope to see a continued reduction in the number of children/young people needing formal interventions.
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