The government has released guidance on the mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges. The guidance sets out available resources and training and is primarily aimed at state schools and colleges. However, independent schools and colleges may find the guidance useful as a number of the resources and training are available to all educational settings and could be used by independent schools and colleges to improve or adapt existing mental health and wellbeing provisions or implement new provisions where necessary. This note will briefly set out key points which independent schools and colleges may find useful; however, we encourage schools and colleges to review the guidance in full here.
The guidance refers to a relationships, health and sex education (RHSE) training module which is available to subject leads to help them understand what should be taught in this module, how to become more confident in teaching about mental health and wellbeing and respecting sensitivities.
Psychological first aid training, which is recognised globally by the World Health Organisation, is also available to schools and colleges. The training provides resources and content to teach young people about how to manage their mental health and wellbeing and provides access to templates which can be customised as required.
In certain locations, Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) are available to work closely with schools and colleges to provide additional mental health and wellbeing support. They can provide extra capacity for early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues. The guidance offers a link with further information as to the locations that are currently benefiting from the assistance of the MHSTs.
The guidance also revisits the whole school or college approach, published by Public Health England in 2015 and updated earlier this year, and emphasises the eight core principles which, if applied consistently, will contribute towards helping to protect and promote pupil emotional health and wellbeing. Independent schools and colleges may find it beneficial to revisit this earlier guidance to consider whether their current mental health and well-being provisions need updating or amending.