Best Practice

Teaching mental health – advice and support

SecEd’s resident wellbeing expert Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers 10 tips for teaching about mental health safely and sensitively

Teaching pupils about mental health and illness is a great way to promote understanding, help seeking and healthy coping – but staff whose specialism lies elsewhere often tell me they are anxious about teaching topics like self-harm or eating disorders for fear of causing more harm than good.

So in order to support you in your teaching, I have put together 10 simple tips to help guide you.

Imagine a vulnerable learner front and centre: When developing and delivering your lesson, imagine a pupil who is directly affected by the issues you are talking about sitting in the middle of the front row. If you adapt your teaching to keep them safe, you will keep everyone safe.

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