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Our Approach

#343 Mental Health First Aid – Highfield Nursery

Ruth Coleman

What did we do?

We provided training for 13 members of staff on Mental Health England’s Mental Health First Aid Champions course; an accredited 1-day programme. This was important for the mental health of staff along with parents who needed support.

Recognising a further need among our colleagues we asked for expressions of interest from them to attend a further 2-day course in Mental First Aid (this was split across 8 sessions). Following expressions of interest 2 members of staff completed the 2-day programme. We have subsequently set-up a peer-to-peer wellbeing group within the school, although the group meets termly, trained staff are available to support peers and colleagues at any time. This has built on the vast amount of knowledge and skills we already had in place.

Summary of impact

  • By harnessing the current ethos within the school, it was easy get staff buy-in.
  • The project gave everyone strategies to help themselves and others.
  • The overall productivity of the school improved and we saw a reduction in the amount of staff absence through mental health issues.
  • All staff are increasingly willing to discuss their issues and concerns more openly.
  • We have developed a bank of relevant resources which are available to the team.

Steps taken

This was offered to all staff, irrespective of their position within the setting.

What would we do differently

We feel that we got it right first time. In an ideal world, all staff would be trained.

Resources to do something similar yourself

Mental Health England's Website

A useful padlet of Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources

Highfield Nursery School Website - Wellbeing section


Highfield Nursery School

Ruth Coleman


Highfield Nursery School

Vanessa Bally