First Aid for Mental Health Schools & Colleges

Young people and Mental Health

Our children’s mental health and wellbeing is suffering now more than ever. Navigating the early years of childhood is hard enough, but recent events have placed additional pressures on our children and young people, and as a consequence has made fundamental changes to their lives.

Good mental health is essential for helping children and young people to develop and thrive. Evidence supports the link between good mental health, educational engagement, and academic achievement.

Often children don’t understand their feelings and find it difficult to communicate them to their family, friends, carers, and teachers. Encouraging open conversations and raising awareness is central to overcoming the stigma, fear, and reluctance to discuss mental health.

It is recognised that describing a person or character coming through a suicidal crisis, can serve as a powerful testimony to others that this is possible, and can encourage vulnerable people to seek help.

So rather than seeing the topic of mental health as a taboo subject, a negative to be brushed under the carpet, bringing the conversation into the open and looking at strategies to manage mental health, which lead to positive outcomes, will only serve to protect our children and young adults.

Making mental health a priority and allowing an open dialogue will enable young people to understand their feelings better and be empathetic to those around them.

Raising awareness is fundamental to the aims of First Aid for Youth Mental Health Level 2 qualification, to reduce stigma, start the conversation, and provide a signpost for help. It encourages young people not to fear mental health and to look after it like they would their physical health.

Early intervention to identify issues and provide adequate support is crucial. Making mental health a priority for our children and young people will ensure they will develop into healthier, happier adults.

Working with young people

It is accepted that a child’s emotional health and wellbeing, influence their cognitive development and learning. It also impacts their physical and social health and mental wellbeing in adulthood.

A government report, Promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, published in 2021 by Public Health England working with the Department for Education, highlighted the need to adopt a whole school or college approach.

It sets out recommendations and suggests that Schools and colleges have an essential role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and students.

The report outlines eight principles which, if applied consistently and comprehensively, will help contribute towards protecting and promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing”. Training and staff development is essential if we are to provide an ethos and environment where children can thrive physically, socially, and emotionally.

Part of Ofsted’s School inspection handbook sets out what initiatives inspectors look for and what is in place, to enable pupils and students to develop into resilient adults with good mental health.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) includes making sure pupils and students know how to keep physically and mentally healthy.

Schools, colleges, and anyone working with children and young adults have a statutory duty of care to promote the welfare of their pupils and students.

The First Aid for Youth Mental Health Level 2 qualification supports anyone who actively connects with children, such as parents, carers, teachers, youth group leaders, and young adults. Helping support our children and preventing impairment of health or development

First Aid for Youth Mental Health. Level 2

The 1-day qualification for 14-year-olds and over has been designed with children and young people in mind covering areas such as depression, self-harm, eating disorders, and bullying. Providing the knowledge and skills to identify a potential mental health condition, start a conversation and provide support and guidance to professional help.

This learning will stay with them into adulthood and serve them well in their work life and with relationships with family, friends, loved ones, and work colleagues. Making a positive change for the better.

A range of First Aid for Youth Mental Health related subjects are covered, including:

  • What is First Aid for Youth Mental Health?
  • Identifying and defining mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • First aid action plan for mental health