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Our work with schools

The Whole School Approach to Mental Health

Through the Whole School Approach (WSA), we worked with schools to improve the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in their school community.

The 2021-22 Whole School Approach was funded by QBE Foundation. We worked with 5 local Minds and 14 schools across England and Wales to support 10,975 pupils, their parents/caregivers, and 1,440 members of staff.

What did the Whole School Approach involve?

Every school that took part was supported to:

  • Carry out surveys to find out how pupils, members of staff and parents/caregivers feel their mental health and wellbeing is being supported. They compared these results to a self-assessment the school filled out.
  • Reflect on successful mental health support and how they can work together with their local Mind to further improve this. They then coproduced an action plan with the local Mind to improve the mental health of their school community.

Our aims were for every school that followed our approach to:

  • Promote good mental health and wellbeing to everyone as a right
  • Support everyone with a mental health problem
  • Find causes of poor mental health and find ways to keep everyone well
  • Respect diversity and promote equality
  • Build external partnerships with local community organisations to support children and young people to achieve their best, and to support parents/caregivers and school staff

The impact of our Whole School Approach

We asked the schools* that took part in the programme about their experiences. They told us the following:

  • They were satisfied with their local Mind and the support they provided
  • They would continue to work with the local Mind once the programme ends
  • Just over 80% of respondents said they found the programme very useful or extremely useful:
    • To find out what pupils, staff and parents/caregivers really feel about how they support their mental health
    • To gain recommendations on improvements they could make
    • To co-create an action plan for their approach to mental health.

*findings based on 6 responses

Our local Minds told us they had strengthened their relationships with schools in their local area and would continue to work with them.

“Working with the schools has broadened our knowledge and understanding of the students’, staff and parents’ mental health and wellbeing and we can see how much everyone is linked within the school environment. We now have very strong links with all three schools and will continue to work with them to help them fulfil their action plans and provide them with support and guidance.”

- Local Mind lead

What’s next for the Whole School Approach?

Following on from this phase of delivery of the Whole School Approach, we’re conducting some research to find out how to best support schools. If you’re a senior leader in a school and want to take our survey, or register your interest in taking part in an interview, please email [email protected].

Information and support

You can sign up to our schools network to get regular updates on:

  • New resources, services and training
  • Ways you can shape Mind’s work in schools
  • Other opportunities to be involved in Mind’s work

To learn more about the WSA, please feel free to get in touch via: [email protected].

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