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Our work with schools

The Whole School Approach to Mental Health

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

We’re here for pupils, for every member of staff and for parents/caregivers. Together, we can shape better mental health support in schools. That’s why we speak to everyone in the school community to make sure that the support we put in place is right for them.

The 2021-22 Whole School Approach is funded by QBE Foundation. We are working with local Minds and schools across England and Wales, to support thousands of pupils, their parents/caregivers, and members of staff.

What does the Whole School Approach involve?

Every school that takes part will be 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 will compare these results to a self-assessment the school itself will fill out
  • Reflect on successful mental health support and how they can work together with their local Mind to further improve this. They will coproduce an action plan with the local Mind to improve the mental health of their school community.

Every school that follows our approach will:

  • 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.

Why is the Whole School Approach needed?

The case for the Whole School Approach is clear, as:

  • 1 in 6 young people in England experienced a mental health problem in 2020 (NHS Digital, 2020)
  • Internationally, the most common age to start experiencing mental health problems is 14 (Early Intervention Foundation, 2021)
  • 77% of school staff experience symptoms of poor mental health (Teacher Wellbeing Index, 2021)
  • 54% of school staff have considered leaving the sector in the past 2 years due to pressures on their mental health (Teacher Wellbeing Index, 2021).

Information and support

Sign up for our schools network to receive regular updates on new resources, services and training, ways you can shape Mind’s work in schools, and 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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