Eighteen months in the making, a new website offering online mental health training for professionals working with children has gone live.
MindEd is aimed at teachers, social workers, sports coaches and others and offers free online tutorials and information. The idea is to help adults to identify and understand mental health issues and therefore better support young people.
There are already more than 100 e-learning sessions available on the site with another 100 due to be added soon. The materials cover children aged from 0 to 18 and offer basic as well as specialised advice.
Professionals will be able to research specific aspects of mental health, or the site will recommend a “learning path” depending on the role of the user.
It also offers an option to explore any concerns about a specific child. The “Signs of Problems” section (pictured above) lists various issues that might spark concerns among teachers or wider school staff, including risky behaviours, anxiety, mood swings, aggression, eating problems or poor concentration, offering e-learning materials for each.
The site has taken 18 months to build and has been created by a consortium of organisations including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, British Psychological Society, National Children’s Bureau (NCB), and YoungMinds.
Funded by the Department of Health, the learning materials have been written and edited by experts from across the world.
Research has shown that by age 14, 50 per cent of lifetime mental illness, excluding dementia, has begun. Dr Hilary Emery, chief executive of the NCB, said: “We know that a high proportion of mental health issues first emerge during childhood and adolescence. So it is vital that those people who work with children and young people, both in the health sector and in wider professions, can recognise the warning signs and know how to react.
“Information is the key and the online training about child mental health available from MindEd provides a convenient means for professionals to access learning that could make all the difference to the lives of a child or young person struggling with mental health issues.”
To access the site, visit www.minded.org.uk and you can follow on Twitter @MindEdUK