Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, Networks and Forums for staff and Sixth Form
The expectations of young people today are ever increasing, bringing with them various forms of anxiety. Teachers/ support staff are not always adequately equipped to best manage the issues they encounter and we feel that this training provides practical tools to spot early warning signs, like a change in mood of a child, which might otherwise go unnoticed, and then intervene. The idea behind physical first aid is to act quickly and effectively and if done properly could save a life. Similarly, MHFA could be the difference between a good recovery or prolonged mental illness. Every three years Bradfield's teachers get training in physical first aid to help save lives so we think the same attention should be given to mental health. We think that extending the training to partner schools would be really beneficial for everyone involved.
The course also covers fear of mental illness and gives practical training on handling difficult conversations, debriefing and protecting yourself and working through the effects that this emotionally charged job can have on the wellbeing of a teacher. Vicki (Director of Wellbeing) is an accredited MHFA trainer and you’ll get a workbook/ signposting, certification and, we hope, a support network in the community.
After the first staff training takes place we hope to begin training some sixth form students from local schools so that they can look out for younger pupils more and look after themselves better. As they embark upon adult life and enter the working world or go to university this course could prepare them for the pressures and challenges ahead. We also think that Little Heath and Bradfield working together on this could have huge benefits in creating links/ partnerships and building resilience.
Results and benefits
Disciplinary issues reduced: trained teachers are more likely to work through issues with pupils and support, rather than punish. Conflicts between teachers and pupils happen less.
Tutors feel more confident in being able to respond to mental health issues and less like they have been thrown in the deep end.
Accredited course for CPD.
Addressing mental health is expected by most organisations. Employers put more resource into looking after their employees’ mental wellbeing, reaping the economic rewards of more productivity.
Teaching, as we know, is about so much more than just academic results, and this can be a small step in equipping staff to look after the wellbeing of their students to be as successful as they can be.
Director of Wellbeing is an accredited MHFA trainer.