Positive mental wellbeing - resources to support children and young people
This page is designed to provide a comprehensive package of information, resources and organisations which are freely available to support primary and secondary school staff to support mental wellbeing.
It is hoped that it will be a useful and practical resource for practitioners working with children and young people ensuring the focus on their wellbeing is equal to that of other curricular areas. The majority of these resources are universal support.
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Education authorities and schools are responsible for identifying, supporting and developing the mental wellbeing of pupils. Every child and young person should have access to mental wellbeing support in school.
This may be support from their class teacher, pastoral care staff, school counselling or Educational Psychology Services, or specialist family and health services when required.
It is recognised that this list is not exhaustive, and many education authorities or schools may produce their own specific resources around mental wellbeing in partnership with local partners and children and young people. The following PDF provides a downloadable version of the supports listed below.
In addition, The Cycle of Wellbeing provides a helpful narrative of how many of the resources and guidance published can be used strategically to enhance the mental wellbeing of staff and children and young people.
The Scottish Government is ensuring that promoting children and young people’s mental health is a core component of staff professional learning.
- Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing : A Professional Learning Resource For All School Staff - The resource takes a whole school approach centred around prevention and early intervention to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone in the school community. It aims to provide school staff with knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing in schools and a range of opportunities to learn about experiences and advice from practitioners and young people.
- Training in psychological skills – early intervention for children - This professional learning has been developed for qualified multi-disciplinary staff across agencies who work with children and young people.
- Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing: Knowledge and Skills Framework - This framework sets out the levels of knowledge and skills required by staff across agencies to deliver mental health supports and interventions across four levels; Informed, Skilled, Enhanced and Specialist.
- Education Scotland Professional Learning Activity supporting young people through grief and loss
- Education Scotland Professional Learning Activity Compassionate and Connected Community
- SAMH, Scotland's national mental health charity, e-learning - We all have mental health: an introduction for teachers
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
- Let’s Introduce Anxiety Management (LIAM)
- There are many online FREE courses around trauma and bereavement on the NES TURAS website (you are required to set up an account)
Teachers and school leaders play a fundamental role in promoting and protecting the wellbeing and resilience of children and young people, which will be critical in supporting children and young people during the experience of COVID-19.
- COVID-19 education recovery This resource provides a single point of access to guidance and support for COVID-19 recovery. It includes key advice from the Scottish Government's COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG), and from sources approved by CERG.
- Supporting remote learning
- Transitions in 2020 - guidance
- Guidance documents to support continuity in learning to support education authorities and schools plan and prepare for blended learning:
- Inclusion, Wellbeing and Equalities Wakelet – Mental Health
- COVID-19 psychological support materials available via the TURAS Learn website
- CAMHS resources
- Mentally Healthy Schools
- Signposting organisations for Supporting remote learning
- The principles of Psychological First Aid can be applied to improve psychosocial outcomes and effective recovery following any sort of crisis, such as COVID-19, by offering humane, supportive and practical help (login required).
- NHS Education for Scotland - It’s ok to worry about COVID-19 - A resource pack for teenagers (12 years and over) to help manage difficult feelings about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- NHS Education for Scotland - It’s ok to worry about COVID-19 - A resource pack for parents to help manage difficult feelings about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19
- NHS Grampian CAMHS Adjustment and Returning to School Live Webinar - NHS Grampian CAMHS Early Intervention Team provide a live webinar to provide information on what adjustment difficulties are, how these present in young people and tips on how to make the return back to school easier.
- Evaluating progress in wellbeing Wellbeing Profile: Glasgow Motivation and Wellbeing Profile (GMWP)
Scottish education is based on the belief that education is a human right and that all children and young people should be supported to reach their fullest potential.
- Education Scotland - Inclusive education
- Education Scotland - Embedding inclusion, equity and empowerment
- Education Scotland - Online Professional Learning on Inclusive Education
- Education Scotland - Online Professional Learning to support Inclusive Classrooms – Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework – Secondary
- Education Scotland – Professional Learning resource to support whole school inclusive practice
- Education Scotland - Online Professional Learning – Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice (three incremental modules)
- Recognising and Realising Children’s Rights
Bullying / Peer support
The Scottish Government takes bullying very seriously. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and must be addressed quickly, whenever it arises. We want all children and young people to learn tolerance, respect, equality and good citizenship to address and prevent prejudice, as well as healthy relationships.
- A summary of anti-bullying resources key information, resources, exemplification and links to resources related to preventing and responding to bullying.
- Respect for All
Relationship Based Approaches
Scottish education has a key focus on wellbeing and relationship-based approaches to support children and young people. An understanding of how early experiences impact on children and young people’s behaviour and the importance of relationships in shaping later outcomes is the foundation which underpins much of the Scottish policy landscape and curriculum
Relationship based approaches such as a nurturing approach help schools to develop an awareness of early adversity and trauma and are therefore a pivotal part of realising the Scottish Government’s aim of preventing and mitigating the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
- Mentors in Violence Prevention
- Equally Safe at School – A whole school approach to preventing gender based violence Equally Safe at School has been developed for secondary schools to help them take a whole school approach to preventing gender-based violence, with staff and students working together with a shared understanding and commitment to equality and safety for all.
- Applying Nurture as a whole school approach - A framework to support self-evaluation
Health and wellbeing (curriculum)
Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future.
The mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of everyone within a learning community should be positively developed by fostering a safe, caring, supportive, purposeful environment that enables the development of relationships based on mutual respect. The four aspects of wellbeing are inextricably linked.
It is important that the educational establishments have the capacity to support pupils and flexibility to utilise an approach that meets local needs and circumstances. Providing a positive future for our young people is our top priority and their mental health is a key part of that. Curriculum for Excellence is helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, capabilities and attributes needed for learning, life and work.
- S1 – S6 recorded lessons supporting mental health and wellbeing
- The Compassionate and Connected Classroom: A health and wellbeing curricular resource for upper primary
- Health and wellbeing (curriculum) curated resources of all HWB organisers
- Curated resources to support learning and teaching of Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical wellbeing
- Curated resources to support learning and teaching mental wellbeing links with Food and Health
- Curated resources to support learning and teaching of mental wellbeing links with Planning for Choices and Changes
- Curated resources to support learning and teaching of mental wellbeing links with Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood
- Curated resources to support learning and teaching of mental wellbeing links Substance Misuse
- Consider the impact of Covid-19 on the positive wellbeing of children. How are you preparing your learning materials and approaches in the wider school environment to support mental wellbeing needs?
- How are you ensuring that the learning resources and wider approaches are supporting development of a whole school approach to support the mental wellbeing of the school community?
- How will you and your colleagues ensure nurturing principles and the wellbeing indicators are considered to support the positive wellbeing of children and young people?
Overarching policy and guidance
The Scottish Government has made clear the commitment of this government to promote and support children’s mental wellbeing, through wide ranging commitments in its Programme for Government.
These links to resources provide information to support development of school policy linked to positive mental wellbeing of children and young people.