Helping Teachers Help Pupils With Mental Health

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ACAMH commits to developing a comprehensive series of resources that disseminate research-informed, evidence-based practice in schools, to support children & young people’s mental health & wellbeing

Part of our remit as a charitable membership organisation has been to share best evidence in order to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people for more than six decades. Following a hugely successful pilot programme launched in October 2021, ACAMH has made a commitment to expand its mental health in schools initiative, which aims to bridge the gap in teachers’ knowledge and practice in important mental health topics, which are now part of the statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

ACAMH’s ‘Ask the Expert’ webinars are free to attend and developed in collaboration with the education charity, Coram Life Education aim to build knowledge in a range of mental-health related topics that teachers may feel less confident about. Past sessions are available on our Teachers Hub. To date, almost 1,200 teachers and education professionals have joined ACAMH’s ‘Ask the Expert’ webinars to build their knowledge in topics such as screen-time; sleep & mental health; anxiety in children and young people; and the impact of bullying & loneliness. Of those attendees surveyed, 92% said they would recommend the Ask the Expert webinars to their colleagues, with qualitative feedback recognising the value these knowledge-sharing sessions can provide teachers in supporting the needs of their pupils.

The next wave of Ask the Expert webinars will commence in June and run through until April 2023, with six new topics being added to the series including: trauma, self-harm and eating-disorders. Topics are rooted in the new statutory RSHE curriculum and have been selected based on feedback provided by teachers, in relation to the topics they are most interested in understanding more about.

To complement the suite of Ask the Expert webinars, ACAMH has partnered with the Chartered College of Teaching to develop an accompanying series of ‘Pedagogy in Practice’ webinars under the same topic headings, which aim to stimulate innovative practice in teaching and learning to meet curriculum requirements and support mental health across the school. The first webinar will be delivered in June covering the anxiety topic, followed by a session on sleep in July, with the further eight webinars scheduled from September through to May 2023.

The Chartered College are currently calling on practising teachers and school leaders to contribute to this project as webinar speakers, and for teachers, leaders and researchers to contribute case studies in audio, video or written form. This provides trail-blazing schools a great opportunity to share best practice, showcase the excellent work they are doing and recognise the expertise of teachers who are developing and delivering it.

Professor Barry Carpenter, ACAMH Board Member and Mental Health in Schools Advisory Group Chair said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support that educators have given us in relation to our mental health in schools initiative; the levels of interaction and richness of the questions posed at our webinars has been tremendous. Teachers are telling us they want more professional development in order to support our young people with complex mental health concerns, our Ask the Expert and Pedagogy in Practice series certainly contribute to addressing that need. We are delighted to be able to continue to provide these free sessions over the next year”.

Do please share our upcoming sessions with your colleagues that are teachers and the resources available on our Teacher Hub.

Understanding Trauma – Ask The Expert – 13 June 3:45pm start

Anxiety – Pedagogy in practice – 21 June 3:45pm start

Sleep – Pedagogy in practice – 12 July 3:45pm start

Eating Disorders – Ask The Expert – 13 September 3:45pm start

 

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