Teacher & Education Professionals Hub


This Teacher & Education Professionals Hub brings together the resources on our website that is most relevant, and useful, together with upcoming webinars.

  • Let’s Connect – Children’s Mental Health Week 2023

    Authors: Rasanat Fatima Nawaz1, and Professor Tamsin Ford2

    1PhD student, University of Cambridge
    2Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

    The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 is Let’s Connect.  Connectedness can play an important role in promoting mental health and well-being for children and young people, as well as adults. We are social animals, who develop and thrive in groups. Children who feel socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually connected tend to have better mental health outcomes than their less integrated peers.

    There are several types of connectedness that can benefit children and young people, which can all be beneficial through the provision of support, a sense of belonging, and opportunities for personal growth and development.

    • Social connectedness, which refers to the sense of belonging and feeling connected to a group or community. Benefits of social connectedness include improved mental health, increased self-esteem, and reduced risk of depression and anxiety.
    • Emotional connectedness, which describes the feeling of being understood and supported by others. Benefits of emotional connectedness include improved communication and problem-solving skills, increased self-esteem, and reduced risk of depression and anxiety.
    • Cultural connectedness, which is the sense of belonging to a particular culture or group. Benefits of cultural connectedness include a stronger sense of identity and self-worth, increased resilience, and improved mental health.
    • Connectedness to nature or the sense of connection to the natural environment is associated with improved mental health, increased physical activity, and reduced stress.
    • Connectedness to community, which depicts the sense of belonging to a specific community or place. Benefits of connectedness to community include increased civic engagement, improved mental health and well-being.

    Research shows that children who feel more connected to their families, peers, and communities are less likely to experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression (Raniti et al 2022). Connectedness is also linked to better academic performance and overall well-being. Parents / caregivers and adults working with families should help children and young people to establish and maintain positive connections, and to create an environment in which children feel connected, safe, loved, and supported. In contrast, children and young people who lack a sense of connection often struggle to form healthy relationships with peers as well as adults, and may have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviour. Poor connectedness can also lead to increased risk for mental health conditions, particularly anxiety and depression. Lack of connections with teachers and classmates can negatively influence their academic performance and future social development. School climate and connectedness is an important focus for those interested in promoting socio-emotional competence as well as academic achievement.

    Bullying is probably our most tractable public mental health risk factor. Children and young people who have strong connections with their peers, family, and school community are less likely to bully others or be bullied themselves. Such children and young people have more positive relationships and a better sense of self-worth, which can buffer them against the negative effects of bullying. In contrast, children and young people who lack connectedness may be more vulnerable to bullying, as they may have difficulty forming healthy relationships and may feel a sense of isolation and low self-worth. They may also be more likely to engage in bullying behaviour as a way to gain a sense of power and control.

    Children and young people can face a variety of challenges when it comes to connecting with others and building social networks. Cost of living, COVID-19 pandemic, and lack of community are some factors that can make it harder to form connections. Extracurricular activities can play an important role in helping young people form connections and build social networks, so we need to ensure access.  The cost of extracurricular activities, such as equipment, uniforms, and membership fees, can be prohibitive for some young people and their families. Young people who live in rural or under-served areas may not have access to a wide variety of extracurricular activities, limiting their opportunities to connect with others through shared interests. Young people may also be hesitant to participate in extracurricular activities if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the activity location. Young people who have to work or take care of family members also may not have the time to participate in extracurricular activities.

    Parents, caregivers, educators, and other adults working with children and young people need to recognize and overcome these barriers and create inclusive environments that respect diversity and promote belonging. Key to building connectedness is the provision of opportunities for children and young people to develop positive relationships, feel valued and supported, and to participate in activities that they enjoy.  Support for conflict resolution, problem solving and activities that build a sense of identity, mastery and group membership are likely to help this process. Additionally, creating a positive school culture and implementing anti-bullying programs can also help to prevent bullying and promote connectedness among students.

    To quote John Donne; no man is an island. We all require the support and company of others to thrive.  So let’s Connect during, and after, this Child Mental Health Week, and keep nurturing connections between our communities beyond it.

    Rasanat Fatima Nawaz
    Rasanat Fatima Nawaz

    I am currently a third year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on self-harm and suicide in schools and other educational establishments. I started researching self-harm in young people as a research assistant in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. From this work, I have successfully published peer-reviewed papers using quantitative and qualitative methods on improving care for children and reducing harm in healthcare. (Bio and picture from the University of Cambridge)

    Professor Tamsin Jane Ford
    Professor Tamsin Jane Ford

    Tamsin Ford is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. She researches the organisation, delivery, and effectiveness of services and interventions for children and young people’s mental health. Her research covers the full range of psychopathology and agencies, practitioners and interventions that relate to the mental health of children and young people. Every interaction with a child presents an opportunity to intervene to improve their developmental trajectory. Her work has direct relevance to policy, commissioning and practice.

    Tamsin completed her postgraduate training in psychiatry on the Royal London Hospital Training rotation and then the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals, after which, she completed her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. She moved to Exeter in 2007, where she established a group of researchers whose work focuses on the effectiveness of services and interventions to support mental health and well-being of children and young people. In October 2019 she moved to the University of Cambridge.

    Tamsin has been a member of ACAMH since 1996. She was an Editor for ACAMH’s journal CAMH for six years, stepping down as lead editor in June 2014. She has been a board member for ACAMH since 2011, and vice-chair since September 2020.

  • Let’s Connect – Creating Meaningful Connections to Support Mental Health

    As reported by NHS Digital in their wave 3 follow-up to the 2017 survey on Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, conducted in 2022, 18% of children aged 7 to 16 years had a probable mental health disorder and, in young people aged 17 to 19 years, the rates of probable mental disorders rose from 1 in 6 in 2021 to 1 in 4 in 2022.

    Children’s Mental Health Week (6 – 12 February 2023) presents an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Now in its ninth year, Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 focuses on the theme of ‘Let’s Connect’; encouraging the need for meaningful connections to support our mental health and wellbeing.

    By focusing on ‘Let’s Connect’, alongside our vision of ‘Sharing best evidence, improving practice’, and our mission to ‘Improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 0-25’, we encourage you to focus on how we, as a society, can help encourage connections with others in healthy and meaningful ways, to improve children’s and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

    With this in mind, do explore the learning opportunities available on our website, and do share with your networks and colleagues.

    We have gathered a range of FREE learning resources from leading academics, clinicians, and researchers to raise awareness of child and adolescent mental health issues.


    Topic Guides


    • NEW Blog by Rasanat Fatima Nawaz and Professor Tamsin Ford ‘Let’s Connect – Children’s Mental Health Week 2023’
    • Blog by Sally Hogg, ‘Understanding Early Trauma: The case for supporting parent-infant relationships’


    • Podcast with Sally Hogg ‘Early Trauma and Importance of Early Relationships’
    • Podcast with Dr. Hope Christie ‘Harmful Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Parents and Carers’
    • Podcast with Dr. Sînziana Oncioiu, Professor Lucy Bowes and Carolina Guzman Holst ‘Bullying and Mental Health: Impact and Interventions’
    • Podcast with Dr. Rebecca Rolland ‘How to Communicate with Children’
    • Podcast with Dr. Tina Rae ‘Supporting Child Refugees in Educational Settings’

    Lectures, talks and discussions

    • Recorded Lecture ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences for schools – a MindEd e-learning Training’ with Dr. Brian Jacobs and Dr. John Ivens
    • Recorded Lecture ‘Working with Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Young People’ with Dr. Ana Draper, Elisa Marcellino, Dr. Arnon Bentovim, Carol Jolliffe, and Sue Holmes
    • Recorded Lecture ‘Bullying and Loneliness ‘Pedagogy in practice’’ with Dr. Verity Jones, Sharon Mangoma, Harriet Gill and Jenny Barksfield
    • Recorded Lecture ‘How to Cope When Your Child Can’t: How parents can help themselves and each other’  with Ursula Saunders, Dr. Alice Welham, Professor Roz Shafran, Wendy Minhinnett and Kathryn Pugh MBE

    Video abstracts

    • 6 min Video Abstract by Rebecca Anthony ‘Young people’s online communication and its association with mental well-being’

    Open Access papers from ACAMH journals

    • Open Access JCPP Advances Research Review ‘The effect of perinatal interventions on parent anxiety, infant socio-emotional development and parent-infant relationship outcomes: A systematic review’. (2022) Celia G. Smith, Emily J. H. Jones, Sam V. Wass, Dean Jacobs, Cassie Fitzpatrick, Tony Charman
    • Open Access JCPP Advances Research Review ‘Examining harmful impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures on parents and carers in the United Kingdom: A rapid review’. (2022) Hope Christie, Lucy V. Hiscox, Sarah L. Halligan, Cathy Creswell
    • Open Access JCPP Advances Original Article ‘Trajectories of childhood social isolation in a nationally representative cohort: Associations with antecedents and early adulthood outcomes’. (2022) Katherine N. Thompson, Candice L. Odgers, Bridget T. Bryan, Andrea Danese, Barry J. Milne, Lily Strange, Timothy Matthews, Louise Arseneault
    • Open Access JCPP Advances Original Article ‘The protective role of father behaviour in the relationship between maternal postnatal depression and child mental health’. (2022) Alex F. Martin, Barbara Maughan, Matt Jaquiery, Edward D. Barker
    • Open Access JCPP Advances Original Article ‘Wellbeing, coping with homeschooling, and leisure behavior at different COVID-19-related lockdowns: A longitudinal study in 9- to 16-year-old German children’. (2022) Tanja Poulain, Christof Meigen, Wieland Kiess, Mandy Vogel
    • Open Access CAMH Review Article ‘Recommendations for male-friendly counselling with adolescent males: A qualitative systematic literature review’. (2023) Micah Boerma, Nathan Beel, Carla Jeffries, Jesse Ruse
    • Open Access CAMH Review Article ‘Can digital mental health interventions bridge the ‘digital divide’ for socioeconomically and digitally marginalised youth? A systematic review’. (2022) Rowena Piers, Joanne M. Williams, Helen Sharpe
    • Open Access CAMH Review Article ‘Interventions addressing loneliness amongst university students: a systematic review’. (2022) Olivia Betty Ellard, Christina Dennison, Helena Tuomainen
    • Open Access CAMH Review Article ‘Cultural adaptations to psychosocial interventions for families with refugee/asylum-seeker status in the United Kingdom – a systematic review’. (2022) Alice Taylor, Gillian Radford, Clara Calia
    • Open Access JCPP Original Article ‘Paternal perinatal stress is associated with children’s emotional problems at 2 years’. (2022) Fiona L. Challacombe, Johanna T. Pietikäinen, Olli Kiviruusu, Outi Saarenpää-Heikkilä, Tiina Paunio, E. Juulia Paavonen
    • Open Access JCPP Annual Research Review ‘Developmental pathways linking early behavioral inhibition to later anxiety’. (2022) Nathan A. Fox, Selin Zeytinoglu, Emilio A. Valadez, George A. Buzzell, Santiago Morales, Heather A. Henderson
    • Open Access JCPP Original Article ‘Understanding the relationships between trauma type and individual posttraumatic stress symptoms: a cross-sectional study of a clinical sample of children and adolescents’. (2022) Marianne Skogbrott Birkeland, Ane-Marthe Solheim Skar, Tine K. Jensen
    • Open Access JCPP Original Article ‘Evidence for machine learning guided early prediction of acute outcomes in the treatment of depressed children and adolescents with antidepressants’. (2022) Arjun P. Athreya, Jennifer L. Vande Voort, Julia Shekunov, Sandra J. Rackley, Jarrod M. Leffler, Alastair J. McKean, Magdalena Romanowicz, Betsy D. Kennard, Graham J. Emslie, Taryn Mayes, Madhukar Trivedi, Liewei Wang, Richard M. Weinshilboum, William V. Bobo, Paul E. Croarkin
    • Open Access JCPP Commentary ‘Recognizing our similarities and celebrating our differences – parenting across cultures as a lens toward social justice and equity’. (2022) Natasha J. Cabrera
  • Improving research-informed practice in schools

    We have recently launched an initiative aimed at teachers, to enable schools to access and put to use resources that can genuinely make a difference to the mental wellbeing and educational outcomes of young people.

    In recognition of the rising mental health challenges faced by children and young people, we have kick-started our Mental Health in Schools initiative, with the aim of producing a series of webinars for teachers which disseminate research-informed, evidence-based knowledge and practice around current key issues in the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

    The first of this pilot series, known as ‘Ask the Expert’ aims to increase the knowledge of teachers and consists of 4 x 75-minute live webinars, with an expert guest speaker and hosted by Professor Barry Carpenter. The webinars have been developed in collaboration with the education charity, Coram Life Education. Topics are rooted in the new statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum, with Screen Time and Sleep delivered in the Autumn term of 2021 and Anxiety and Common Mental Health Conditions coming in Spring 2022.

    The second of this pilot series, coined ‘Pedagogy in Practice’, is aimed at creating engaging
    resources for teachers relating to mental health teaching themes in the RSHE framework and is
    closely aligned to the ‘Ask the Expert’ series. ‘Pedagogy in Practice’ aims to stimulate innovative
    practice in teaching and learning to meet curriculum requirements and support mental health. The pilot phase will include the development of two modules: Sleep and Anxiety, and will be developed in partnership with The Chartered College of Teaching during the first half of 2022.

    Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE, D. Litt, PhD, ACAMH Board Member and Mental Health in Schools Advisory Group Chair, said “We are committed to helping improve the knowledge needed by Teachers to deliver the statutory Relationship, Sex & Health Education (RSHE) curriculum requirements, specifically in relation to subjects pertaining to mental wellbeing. We are also looking to build capacity for differentiating and personalizing content to meet individual, as well as group needs.”

    He goes on to say “Schools are an anchor institution in supporting young peoples’ mental wellbeing, we believe ACAMH and our partners Coram Life Education and The Chartered College of Teaching can truly make a difference by sharing the best evidence in a way that is accessible and tailored to the needs of teaching professionals.”

    We plan to develop a wider series of Ask the Expert & Pedagogy in Practice resources over the course of the next 18 months, incorporating up to ten of the most pertinent topics within the RSHE framework, such as Trauma, Self-Harm and Bereavement.

  • Helping parents and teachers deal with apprehension and anxiety when returning to school

    The charity Nip in the Bud has produced a short film and fact sheet to help parents and teachers deal with any potential feelings of apprehension and anxiety that children may experience on returning to school.

    In this film 8 minute film Dr. Jess Richardson, Principal Clinical Psychologist, National & Specialist CAMHS and Maudsley provides important and straightforward advice. There is also an accompanying comprehensive Fact Sheet.

    Nip in the Bud provides free resources about mental health awareness for primary school teachers and parents. Their short films and fact sheets can be accessed freely on their website.

    The content for their ‘Information Films’ has been provided by experts from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and from Great Ormond Street Hospital. In addition their ‘Real Life Experience’ films show interviews with young people and parents who have been affected and who speak frankly and movingly about their experiences.

    The conditions covered so far are ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Conduct Disorder, Depression, OCD and PTSD.

    You can follow them on twitter @NipintheBudFilm