Best Practice

Delivering effective mental health education

With health education becoming compulsory in September, there is an opportunity for a clearer focus on mental wellbeing. Clare Stafford speaks with two mental health experts about effective whole-school approaches and practical tips for schools preparing to deliver the new curriculum

What do we mean by mental health education? At the moment, according to Ian MacDonald – a mental health trainer with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – there seems to be a general push that any sort of “awareness” or “education” will bring about improvements in mental health. This is a simplistic notion that does not explain what anyone hopes to achieve or, just as importantly, how.

He also points out the need to be circumspect in the face of easy media headlines about mental health “crises” in the young population. That is not to say that problems do not exist, but a more nuanced approach is needed.

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