Lancashire charity launches courses to help schools step up mental health support for pupils

In July the Wellbeing Challenge culminated in a huge celebration  which showcased the young people involved
In July the Wellbeing Challenge culminated in a huge celebration which showcased the young people involved
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Parents are worried about their children’s mental health because of pressure schools put on them, a new study has revealed. Education reporter SONJA ASTBURY takes a look at what is being done to tackle the growing problem

Social media takes a lot of the flack for the pressures on our young people.

But, according to latest research, school plays a big part in the mental health and wellbeing of the younger generation.

According to a survey for outdoor toy company TP Toys, parents of children as young as four years old think schools are too focused on getting exam results.

As a result, more than a third of parents think it is having a negative effect on their child’s mental health.
The results come as Ofsted has announced that inspectors will not assess how homework is being done under new framework – it states schools should decide whether or not they set it for their pupils.

Mental health has become such a key issue in schools that next month a major conference is being held to help share some of the work being done and brainstorm new strategies.

leading mental health charity Lancashire Mind is rolling out two new free “revolutionary” programmes for secondary schools.

The Wellbeing Challenge, now is in its third year, was accessed by 19 schools in Lancashire last year.
The project is designed to improve whole-school wellbeing and involves Lancashire Mind and partners working with a small group of young people over 10 weeks to create a sustainable wellbeing initiative that will benefit the whole school.

The second programme, The Whole School Approach, was piloted across the UK last year, with four of the 17 pilot schools being in Lancashire, resulting in 3,000 pupils being reached and supported.

It was designed to give pupils, staff and parents tools and resources to better understand mental health and to know where to access support, so they feel more confident and have important conversations.

A spokesman for the Lancashire Mind Community Development team says: “We are committed to helping to give young people the tools they need to understand how to look after their wellbeing, build resilience and live happier lives.
“We would love to hear from schools interested in taking part in Lancashire Mind wellbeing initiatives.

“It’s been incredible and inspiring to see what young people can achieve during these programmes and the impact that has, not only on their own wellbeing but across the school community. Both programmes enable school’s to create something they can use not only today but for years to come.”

A conference for schools and colleges to share good practice and to try to reduce the pressure on school staff in supporting pupil’s mental health is being held at Lostock Hall Academy next month.

The focus of the event will be on providing schools, primary and secondary, and colleges with tools and strategies they can use to build resilience in young people and promote positive mental health.

Counsellor Charlotte Lowe has linked up with Sam Tyrer and Lancashire Mind to offer different strategies to schools and colleges, as well as providing resources that they can use to support pupils.

The conference is free of charge and is being held at the Todd Lane North school on October 30, from 2-4pm.

For more information on how children can learn through play –