Research shows that 50% of mental health problems start before age 14. Yet there remains a distinct lack of early prevention in the mental health support for children and young people.
Early intervention, including promotion and prevention strategies, has the potential to produce the greatest impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing by taking action before mental health problems worsen and preventing the onset of mental disorders.
NICE recognised in 2022 that non-judgmental 'strengths-based' approaches support children and young people in developing their skills, resilience and self-worth.
By that stage, Liz Robson had already been working as a specialist in the field for 12 years. She founded Worth-It Positive Education CIC to address the issue.
In 2010 Liz Robson realised that bullying at 14 had triggered the onset of mental health issues in a man who, two decades later, could not get out of bed and needed full-time care from his elderly mother.
At the time she was doing (her first) coach training qualification and learning about positive psychology. She discovered that gaps in mental health provision had incubated problems during the man’s early years which continued into adulthood.
She researched and asked young people and discovered an alarming gap in early intervention support for young people’s mental health. Her idea was to combine positive psychology and coaching to help young people through the prevention of mental health problems.
Worth-it's innovative approach is based on the specific needs of children and young people and offers a unique package of targeted support to improve their self-worth.
Worth-it applies evidence-based approaches that build positive mental health in children and young people. In doing so, we support children and young people - and those that support them - in developing wellbeing and resilience.
Pressures on children and young people in the 21st Century, combined with inadequate resources and ineffective coping strategies, are resulting in an epidemic of mental health problems
Depression and anxiety are increasing, as are self-harm and panic attacks. Yet, by supporting children and young people before they reach 14, we can help them to flourish in later life.
We started out by providing targeted frontline delivery with children and young people in the East Midlands. But we wanted to do more.
We began providing indirect support by upskilling professionals, teachers and schools.
We pivoted to becoming a UK-wide training provider.
We created our Wellbeing Academy - an online learning platform which is accessed throughout the UK.
Our work comes at an essential time for young people. Young Minds reports:
One in six children, aged 5-16, identified as having a probable mental health problem in 2021 - up from one in 2017.
83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the Pandemic had made their mental health worse.
Suicide was the leading cause of death for males and females aged between 5-34 in 2019.
Emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders
experienced by young people.
Worth-it combines academic grounding in positive and coaching psychology with practical experience supporting children and young people - as well as those that look after them. We were among the first to develop programmes using positive psychology and coaching to address early mental health problems.
Our primary offer maximises social impact by working in partnership with commissioners, schools, organisations and practitioners.
Our focus is on:
Providing prevention programmes for commissioners and children’s organisations, including: Workforce Development Training, Tailored Support Programmes, Toolkits and Resources
Delivering online training through our Wellbeing Academy
Working with educators to develop whole-school approaches to wellbeing and preventing mental health problems
We will make a real and sustainable difference for children and young people now and in future. We are committed to large-scale social impact.
We will offer an honest approach, grounded in a robust evidence base. We will be ethical, strive for excellence and continuously improve.
We will work with organisations, partners, commissioners and schools. We will involve children and young people, and use their ideas in the creation of our approaches.
We will believe in the ability of others to improve, grow and flourish. We will enable all we work with to develop skills, strategies, and tools that improve wellbeing and resilience.
Chris is an experienced leader and manager who is passionate about wellbeing and positive psychology.
Michael is an Executive Coach with over 18 years experience in coaching Senior Leaders in the public & private sectors. He is also an associate lecturer and tutor on Professional coaching courses and MBA programmes. Michael has also published an e-book "50 ways to lead your sales team" which has been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Reduced symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety
Self-help skills that improve mental wellbeing
Prevention of the escalation of emotional issues
Improved communication, interpersonal skills and relationships
Engagement in learning
Increased confidence and self-awareness
Reduced workload pressures on schools
Decreased absences and improved attendances
Reduced use of negative coping strategies such as self-harm
We worked with Oxford University and Study Higher to deliver our resilience skills workshop to 120 Year 11 students. Several secondary schools participated in our online raising aspiration day.
We worked with mental health and social change charity, Platfform, to deliver coach training to 12 Platfform team members over eight weeks. Coaches became more confident and armed with practical solutions. The young people felt empowered to look forward to the future positively.
We worked with St Helens Core Commissioning Group, St Helens Borough Council and Department for Education on a bespoke training programme and welling toolkit to support children and young people across the whole St Helens school and college community.
Worth-it Positive Education has directly or indirectly improved the wellbeing, mental health and resilience of thousands of UK children and young people since 2018.
children and young people directly involved in our workshops, programmes and coaching interventions
practitioners trained to provide support
Our ethos. Our record of delivery. Our early adopter status. And our social impact.
We are a Community Interest Company (CIC) and believe passionately in delivering sustainable change for all.
We want the impact of our work to continue to grow. We want to benefit as many children and young people as possible. We want our partners to gain skills that improve resilience and wellbeing.
To achieve our vision on the scale we aim for we need many, many more people to be equipped to deliver.
You can help us achieve that by making contact. And we can help you by providing the training and tools to spread the social impact throughout your own organisation - and for generations of young people to come.