UK Schools to Receive Mental Health Awareness Training

Ellen Lees
By Ellen Lees,
updated on Jun 6, 2019

UK Schools to Receive Mental Health Awareness Training

As part of a government-funded drive to promote whole-school approaches to mental health, over 1,800 secondary schools and colleges across the country will receive free Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT), provided by leading children’s mental health charity, the Anna Freud Centre

Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) is a national programme which aims to provide school staff the knowledge, skills and practical tools they need to promote and integrate mental health and wellbeing across the whole school community.

The training will take place between September 2019 and February 2020, in over 130 locations across England. It covers three key areas:

  • What the evidence has revealed about mental health difficulties in schools
  • Spotting the early signs of a mental health problem
  • Positive approaches to promoting mental health and wellbeing in the school

Jaime Smith, Programme Director for the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools Programme at the Anna Freud Centre said: “This training gives schools and colleges a vital evidence-based grounding in mental health.

“Addressing children’s mental and physical health is one of the most important things we can do for children and their families so that they can thrive and lead fulfilling and productive lives. Schools and colleges have really embraced the mental health agenda and we are delighted to be working with them.

“Being mental health aware is important but this training also equips schools and colleges with the first steps around what to do. Knowing how to support is vital not just for the young person’s but also for the teacher’s wellbeing.”

This is the third phase of the training programme rollout and will be available throughout the Autumn Term 2019 and the Spring Term 2020. The training is available for two members of staff from each school and is open to all schools and colleges who have not yet received training.

Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards said: “Children and young people’s mental health is a top priority for this government, which is why I am so pleased that the experts at the Anna Freud Centre will deliver the third year of training for staff in secondary schools - helping to make sure pupils get the help they need when they face difficulties in their life.

“This adds to a range of important work already taking place in schools to support pupils’ mental health, including connecting schools with NHS specialists in 25 trailblazer areas around the country and the introduction of health education on the curriculum from September 2020.”

According to the Anna Freud Centre, one in 10 children and young people between the ages of five and 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder. Yet fewer than 35% of young people with mental health problems receive the help they need.

The charity aims to transform current mental health provision in the UK by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment. The goal is to develop and deliver the best possible evidence-based treatment for children and their families.

If you are interested in the training, a full list of eligible schools and colleges is available on the Anna Freud Centre website.

For more information about mental health and the support available, visit Counselling Directory. You can also search for therapists in your area by entering your location in the box below.

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