Developing Mental Health in Primary Schools

Mental health promotion involves creating and enhancing environments that support the development of mental wellbeing and healthy lifestyles. Research shows that  developing positive mental health and resilience is most effective when it takes place early in a person’s life.

There is much evidence that pupils learn more effectively, if they are happy in their work, believe in themselves, their teachers and feel the school is supporting  them and that they belong.  Outside of school children can be exposed to many factors which can influence their mental health and wellbeing. These factors can help develop wellbeing or contribute to having a negative impact on wellbeing levels. Some children are more resilient than other in being able to cope with the impact of challenging situations that can impact negatively on their levels of wellbeing.

Primary schools can be a powerful force in minimising risk factors through promoting and protecting emotional health and wellbeing. Supporting primary schools and educational settings is key to enabling children promote and protect factors for mental health.

Primary wellbeing tree display

Teaching Mental Health and Resilience in Primary Schools

Primary schools can provide a safe and supportive environment for building life skills and resilience and a strong sense of belonging to the school. Fostering healthy relationships with peers, teachers and school staff are essential to children’s positive experience of school and their emotional development. The needs and well-being of school staff are also of paramount importance.

At Worth-it Positive Education CIC we believe the key to successful implementation of a positive emotional health and a resilience building culture is to take a coordinated whole-school approach.

Positive mental health and resilience can permeate all aspects of school life and learning. Primary schools can therefore put systems in place to promote mental health and wellbeing and thus build resilience in both staff and students to help prepare them to cope with a range of life events. This is especially important now as we recover from the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns.

The Role of Primary Schools in Positive Mental Health

Promoting good emotional health and wellbeing of children is an increasingly important function in schools, is now recognised as a shared responsibility and most importantly promoting good emotional health, preventing mental health issues and identifying mental health problems early is essential. Consequently, better basic knowledge of mental health and wellbeing is needed throughout primary schools and in addition school staff require sufficient support, time and resources to develop their knowledge and expertise.

This is where Worth-it have the knowledge and expertise to help primary schools apply practical approaches to promoting and protecting wellbeing. We specialise in early intervention and prevention of mental health problems, through improving emotional health and mental wellbeing of children, young people and  whole schools communities.

Worth-it and Mental Health in Primary Education

We develop mental health in primary schools, through a whole school wellbeing approach, staff training and development and targeted support for pupils. We have created unique evidence based wellbeing training that supports practitioners to develop skills which build resilience and promote and protect emotional health and mental wellbeing of children.

Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our approach aims to protect positive mental health, enhance the capacity of children to cope with difficult situations and reduces the likelihood that a mental health problem will develop. Other outcomes and benefits of our training include:

  • positive relationships with peers and teachers
  • a positive school climate
  • a sense of belonging
  • sense of security
  • effective school policies related to mental health and resilience
  • opportunities for social and emotional learning
  • development of problem solving skills
  • positive mental health of school personnel
  • support and professional development for teachers

We are delighted to be working with a number of primary schools on developing a whole school approach to mental health and we will be of providing further workshops for primary school staff. To find out more about this work and our approach download our Discovery Workshop.

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