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Education for wellbeing

Explore Education for Wellbeing, England's major mental health intervention trial in schools. Backed by the Department for Education, we assess innovative approaches with Anna Freud, gauging their impact on students' mental health. 

Funded by the Department for Education, Education for Wellbeing is England's largest research trial of school-based mental health interventions. The aim of the programme is to evaluate pioneering ways of supporting the mental wellbeing of pupils. Anna Freud is delivering Education for Wellbeing and the Evidence-Based Practice Unit is evaluating the approaches, examining their impact on pupils’ mental health and wellbeing. 

Schools are randomly allocated to use one of the following approaches: 

A set of five lessons for Year 9 that use role play designed to improve pupils’ understanding of mental health and reduce suicide rates. Developed in Sweden and America, Youth Aware Mental Health (YAM) encourages pupils to share their own ideas about how to maintain good mental health and how to help each other to find ways to resolve everyday dilemmas. 

A teacher training programme developed in Canada called The Guide. Adapted for England for the study, it develops teachers’ understanding of mental health, trains them on how to teach their pupils about it and addresses stigma. 

A series of eight lessons designed to increase young people’s skills around personal safety and managing their mental health, as well as helping them to identify their support networks. 

Training pupils in relaxation techniques embedded into the school day, every day for five minutes. Training pupils in mindfulness embedded into the school day, every day for five minutes. 

So far, the programme has reached over 35,000 pupils across 400 schools. 

Chief investigator: Professor Jess Deighton 

Find out more about the Evidence-Based Practice Unit