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YMCA SEMH Training

Fully funded extensive range of mental health training for staff in settings across the Opportunity Areas based on an approved competency framework Training ranges from core workshops accessible to all staff to more targeted training for specialist staff


Head Teachers / School Leaders, School Teachers, Trusts

Aimed at

KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5


Mental Health and Wellbeing, Workforce: Recruitment, Retention and Development


Whole School

Why was the project needed?

In response to the one of the key priorities the Opportunity Area was tasked to “Strengthen the effectiveness of support for children and young people with mental health concerns and special educational needs” The YMCA Trinity Group proposed a menu of training opportunities which would support schools to confidently identify social, emotional and mental health needs not only of young people but also of adults working in these settings.

What happened and what was the impact?

The offer was well received, the range of training was highly popular amongst all settings. Impact could be measured in the feedback received from numerous settings and range of enquiries that were made. The success of the training led to a range of additional training being added, including a programme for Early years staff and parents. Specific courses such as the Mental Health Champions course enabled staff to cascade information to more staff and utilise shared resources as part of a licenced programme.

What did and didn't work?

Having an extensive range of training available along with the option of a completing a training needs analysis was positive, this enabled staff to identify the training most suitable for the setting.

The pandemic affected uptake of training for a period of time, although YMCA Trinity ensured training was offered online, the strain on staff was evident and attendances were affected.

How did you measure success?

Monitoring and evaluation has been crucial and undertaken throughout the project; this has been done through course evaluation, training needs analysis, booking forms, trainer feedback, and external course evaluations.


Ingredients For Success

  • Specialist subject knowledge and experience working in schools to be able to deliver a high quality programme.
  • Effective Project management and dedicated admin support.
  • Flexibility in approach.
  • Adapting to needs and creating courses to address gaps in provision Training bookings.
  • Physical resources including suitably trained and available facilitators.
  • Virtual resources and ability to adapt to online platforms.
  • Cost effectiveness.
  • Thorough processes and terms & conditions.
  • Quality assurance processes.
  • Adhering to pandemic regulations.

Is the Project Complete or Ongoing

The project in on-going.

How is the Project Sustainable

By giving settings the skills to embed learning will enable sustainable impact to be achieved rather than the reliance on external agencies. Settings are given resources that can be used as many times as they wish, whilst also receiving yearly updates, new resources and refresher training as part of the programme.

The programme also links to wider initiatives to compliment the offer, including senior mental health lead training, the mental health forums and mental health support teams.  This also creates consistency of approach and ability to continue learning.

What are the Long Term Impacts

As mentioned some of our more targeted courses will enable key individuals to lead on mental health within the setting and start to cascade knowledge amongst their peers. This means the wider staff team will have someone on site to support their needs and increase their confidence. The programme also incorporates clinical advice so the Mental Health Champion can be supported where required, as well as the opportunity to share good practice and network with other schools through the peer support programme. They will also learn the skills to be able to create pathways into targeted intervention, whist embedding a positive culture of well-being to reduce the risks of mental health issues developing into a crisis. The target audience for both of these courses would be existing well-being or pastoral leads within the settings who already have a responsibility and experience in this area.

Champions and contacts


YMCA Trinity

Sukaina Ladak

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