Promotion and prevention

Prevention involves both promoting children’s mental health and wellbeing and taking action to de-escalate difficulties early on.

Schools can play a critical part in many different ways to help promote good mental health in children and to prevent later problems.

This can be achieved through:

All of these preventative opportunities rely on the support of school leadership – and particularly the drive of a head teacher who models positive self-care, resilience and strong social and emotional skills.

Making the most of staff relationships

Teachers and other staff members are key people in the lives of children at school – and you don’t have to be an expert in mental health and wellbeing to make a difference.

There are very simple ways to make best use of everyday contacts to ensure that each child in a class feels supported, valued and nurtured.

Find out more...

Positive and supportive school ethos

Creating a positive and supportive school ethos is a key element of a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. It is critical to the way staff feel about what they do and how they interact with each other and their pupils. It is also vital for children – to give them a sense of safety and belonging as well as the tools they need to develop and thrive.

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Peer Support

Peer support is about children feeling accepted and included by other pupils. It can help children feel like they belong in a school and can be an important factor in reducing bullying and conflict.It can be encouraged in schools in both informal and formal ways. 

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Teaching and learning about mental health and wellbeing

Schools can help children develop strong social and emotional skills and knowledge.

Learning these skills promotes good mental health and acts as a key preventative strategy which can impact on all pupils, from the youngest child in the school through to those who are about to face the potentially significant challenge of transitioning to secondary school.

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Resources

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Guide: A mental health model for schools

Guide: A mental health model for schools

A mental health model for schools written by Charlotte Lowe and based on her experiences of...

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Five ways to wellbeing

Five ways to wellbeing

A webinar (28 mins) about an evidence-based approach to approach mental wellbeing which can be...

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Advice on promoting wellbeing in schools

Advice on promoting wellbeing in schools

An evidence summary of what works in promoting social, emotional wellbeing and responding to mental...

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  • National Children's Bureau

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A whole-school framework

A whole-school framework

A whole-school framework for emotional wellbeing and mental health: a self-assessment and...

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Mental health: peer support

Mental health: peer support

An overview of the consultation on peer support in children and young people's mental health, which...

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  • Family Action

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News article: meditation exercises for teachers

News article: meditation exercises for teachers

A newspaper article providing short mindfulness exercises for school staff.

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  • The Guardian

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Promoting children and young people's emotional health and wellbeing

Promoting children and young people's emotional health and wellbeing

A report on how school and college staff can take key actions to promote emotional health and...

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News article on being a headteacher

News article on being a headteacher

A newspaper article on the experience of being a head teacher and top tips for survival.

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  • The Guardian

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