On this page you can find information about:
- how to identify training needs
- sources of free training
Building a whole-school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing is a major cultural shift for many schools and colleges. Research shows that school and college staff welcome their new responsibilities for promoting mental health in school but also that some feel unconfident about their role. Training and development play an important part in motivating staff to embrace a new culture.
Despite tight school budgets, 29% of primary school teachers and 34% of secondary teachers said their school provided training opportunities to spot the signs of pupil mental health problems [i]. Many organisations provide free training resources.
[i] Teacher Tapp survey commissioned by the Anna Freud Centre, 2020. Unpublished.
Identifying training needs
Training is most effective when it meets an identified need. An integrated whole-school policy on mental health and wellbeing could combine findings from staff and pupil surveys to identify needs, a clear strategy in the school or college improvement plan about how to meet those needs, and a training plan to ensure those plans are put into practice.
Training is not just for teachers. All school staff – from administrative staff to caretakers and catering staff to headteachers – are all part of a whole-school culture to promote mental health and wellbeing. The Anna Freud Centre has developed a free short animation and set of resources on the ‘CARE’ principle to encourage all staff to be Curious and Approachable; to Refer when necessary; and to show Empathy.
Holding or commissioning training
Set aside time on induction or INSET days for all staff (not just teachers) to use the CARE resources alongside school policies and procedures so that they can discuss their role in promoting mental health.
Many organisations and consultancies, including the Anna Freud Centre, offer training on mental health and wellbeing to schools and colleges.
When holding or commissioning training, it is useful to think about the following:
- Is the training you’re looking to offer a more general introductory training that could be appropriate for all staff, perhaps as part of an INSET day?
- Is the training more specialist, suitable for staff in a specific role?
- Who is best placed to deliver the training – for example can it be delivered by an internal member of staff or would it be better delivered by an external expert?
- What is the best format to deliver your training?
- Is the training provider an expert in their field? Can you see previous feedback examples from the training?
Taking CARE to promote mental health in schools and colleges animation
Training in mental health skills and approaches can be of huge value to school and college staff. The Centre’s Schools in Mind team can provide tailored training and workshops to all staff including senior leaders, teaching and support staff.
These Schools in Mind videos can be incorporated into staff training or INSET days to support awareness and understanding of mental health concerns.
MindEd is a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults. There are a series of modules to choose from and these can be incorporated into staff training or INSET days.
This website was curated by Mind, supported by The Royal Foundation. It is a first stop to find documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from key organisations across the UK, all aimed at helping individuals and organisations get to grips with workplace mental health.
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