Peer Support for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Programme

This national Department for Education (DfE) funded programme is being piloted in 89 schools, colleges and community organisations in six different regions in England.  The participating settings received evidence informed training and resources to help them to develop or refine a peer mentoring programme to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their setting. 



The 89 participating settings included primary, secondary and special schools, colleges and children and young people’s community groups.  All were based in one of the six regions selected by the DfE:  East Sussex, Ipswich, Derby, Oldham, West Midlands and Bradford. 

Each setting assigned a member of staff to lead on the project who attended a training session in early 2018.  The training introduced evidence-based resources to help staff to develop or refine a Peer Support Programme in their setting.  There were two stages of delivery; April – August 2018 and September 2018 – March 2019. 


The training and resources were based on 5 core principles:

  1. Work where young people are at; be creative in how you engage young people
  2. Involve the right people; think carefully about mentor and mentee recruitment
  3. Focus on relationships; build trust to create space for change
  4. Encourage young people’s ownership; collaborate, co-design, and co-produce with young people
  5. Be safe and boundaried; ensure mentors are adequately trained and supervised

The programme is being externally evaluated by Ecorys.  Ecorys will report both quantitatively and qualitatively on the impact the project has had on young people’s emotional and educational outcomes. Evidence and impact will be shared in summer 2019.

If you would like to find out more about the programme, please email