Leger Education Trust plans to train all staff members as Youth Mental Health First Aiders alongside the roll-out of our pupil-led mental health curriculum, ‘Hearts plus Minds’. By introducing this training, we wanted to give every member of staff the skills to respond calmly and compassionately, to guide them towards the appropriate support to help them recover and thrive.
Our internal survey results reflect the growing crisis in young people’s mental health across the country. Almost a third of pupils said they feel stressed either most or all the time, while many reported signs of common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
We recognise that we need to be proactive to support their pupils’ learning and wellbeing. Many of the young people who attend our academies and provision come from disadvantaged areas, and this means that pupils face a diverse range of social pressures and concerns. In addition, those who have been excluded from school are at increased risk of mental health issues.
We decided on an innovative approach to address the situation and deliver the Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course to train staff to recognise signs of mental health issues and offer support on a first aid basis.
As well as knowing how to respond to a mental health crisis and addressing problems such as bullying, the MHFA courses equip staff with the skills to encourage positive mental health in the long term.