World Mental Health Day – 10th October

10th October is World Mental Health day, the charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not alone with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities. They have also recently partnered with the Beano to provide content for Under 12s, Meet Mandi, looks at getting your first phone and some top tips.

LGfL have partnered with Young Minds to produce Healthy Minds, these materials have been designed to support staff and young people to understand mental health better and help build resilience to prevent mental health issues from developing.

The open access resource features a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self reflection and video content with supporting activities. The main activities are designed for use with learners in Upper KS2, KS3 and KS4. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.


The resource is split into the following sections:

  • Mental health and resilience activities for young people
  • Mental health and resilience resources for staff
  • No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people
  • Handy Websites and Apps

Striker Boy – At our annual conference this year, all teachers who attended received a free copy of Striker boy, republished in memory of the author Jonny Zucker who took his own life in November 2016. He was a loving husband and father, and creator of the SerialMash library for 2simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories was ‘Striker Boy’ first published in 2010. Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch.

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.That’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly great to use on World Mental health day.

Mind Moose have produced an assembly that schools can use. It introduces mental health in the context of being as important to look after as physical health before discussing ways that we can all look after our mental health. It also discusses how children and adults in a school community can help each other to look after mental health.

EduKit is a social enterprise that helps schools to track student wellbeing and pupil premium impact and to analyse and benchmark customisable cohorts of students within each school and against national trends.

This is why EduKit created Insight. Schools using EduKit Insight Plus can:

  • Identify vulnerable learners and to track their progress over time
  • Create bespoke cohorts of students to compare wellbeing across 14 key areas including aspiration, home life,internet safety, resilience and self-esteem
  • Access over 1,300 EduKit partners able to offer free and low-cost support both across the UK and internationally.

All LGFL schools who sign up before the end of July will receive FREE access to the ‘Plus’ package (usual average cost £500) for one year. Click here for more details or to reserve your licence. LGfL are excited to make this offer available to schools. Please note this offer does not represent an endorsement of Edukit and the Edukit partners by LGfL.

The PHSE association has a comprehensive DfE funded Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional well being – as well as being a core guidance document it also includes a range of lesson plans for KS2 and KS3 pupils.  It has also produced a mental health teaching checklist as well as ground rules for teaching about mental health and emotional well being to ensure the safety of pupils when discussing this subject.

The Anna Freud National centre for families and children have produced an excellent booklet for supporting mental health and well being in schools – you can download it here: supporting-mental-health-and-wellbeing-in-schools. They have also produced an excellent animated video below to encourage talking about mental health in schools, great for use in assembly and in class:

They have also produced this booklet for supporting mental health and well being in Secondary schools. They have also just launched a short animation and toolkit aimed at Secondary pupils in year 7-9, you can view the resources here.

Schools in Mind is a free network for school staff and allied professionals which shares practical, academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care. You can sign up to the network here.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy to use website for primary schools, offering teachers and school staff reliable and practical resources to support pupils’ mental health. Staff can access 600+ quality assured mental health resources to support the wellbeing of their pupils, including lesson plans, assemblies, guidance documents and measurement tools, alongside easy-to-understand practical information about supporting the mental health of children.

There is clear guidance on the site for what to do if anyone has concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as guidance on promoting and supporting the wellbeing of staff.

The vast majority of the resources are free and available to access via the site. There are a small number of evaluated, mostly licensed programmes that carry a fee, but have stronger evidence of benefiting children either through promoting children’s social and emotional skills, or preventing or helping children recover from poor mental health.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – The Trust was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression. Shortly after his death, his family founded the Trust in order to educate young people on the importance of staying mentally well and how to do so. They have a range of free resources for schools including booklets, posters and teachers can also sign up to a book club for school mental health leads, where they can opt in to receive a book and accompanying resources once a term. These aim to enhance the skills, confidence and knowledge of those who work with children and young people, by providing them with resources they can use to promote positive mental health.

Adolescent resilience – LGfL have teamed up with Public Health England to provide links to some school-ready resources from a range of different organisations. These include information on academic research, materials for whole-school approaches as well as lesson series and one-off resources, plus targeted support for specific problems, and signposting. Links do not imply endorsement of one approach over another. Please note that not all resources have been formally evaluated, although many have been developed with schools and experts in the field. These resources are suitable for KS3, KS4 and KS5. 

Public Health England have a range of resources to support children in schools, they have a lesson plan and activities based around online stress and FOMO(Fear of missing out).

You can also download a range of calming music for use with either meditation, assemblies or in class from Audio network.

Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools (iMHARS)  describes a whole-school approach to mental health and resilience. The iMHARS framework helps schools to understand the seven aspects (components) of school life that can support and contribute to pupils’ positive mental health and resilience.

The seven components have been distilled from a wide body of evidence and have been developed and tested in Islington schools.

iMHARS can be used in schools to research current practice, identify where things are working well, areas for improvement and next steps. Schools are encouraged to reflect on what support is in place to meet the needs of all pupils; for the most vulnerable pupils, for those at risk, and preventative measures for all pupils.

When I worry about things is another excellent resource from BBC Teach it is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom. These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13.

Tell us what you are doing for mental health day on either our Twitter or Facebook pages. #WorldMentalHealthDay

Children’s Mental Health Week 5th – 11th February 2018

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to support children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Now in its fourth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word. The theme for this year is #BeingOurselves

Some children and young people can find it difficult to think positively about themselves. Low self-esteem affects more than 8 in 10 of the pupils who have Place2Be one-to-one support. Place2Be is inviting everyone – children, young people and adults – to come together and celebrate the unique qualities and strengths in themselves and others. They have a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools that can be used throughout the week.

Mind Moose is another excellent resource that can be used within schools, it is a fun, digital platform that teaches children how to keep their minds healthy. Children go on a journey of discovery with Mind Moose and his friends as they learn how to look after their minds, keep their brains healthy, deal with emotions, develop resilience and flourish. The fun, interactive animations and activities are underpinned by theory and tools from the field of positive psychology and beyond. London schools can benefit from a 14 day trial as well as a 25% discount by e mailing inclusion@lgfl.net.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you during this week. Audio Network has 60,000 audio files to be used within the classroom these can be used as a calming down tool, to uplift or to inspire.  Audio files can be searched either by topic of theme.

Look, Think, Do contains a range of editable social stories that can be used within the class, with groups or individual students.These resources facilitate social development by using reduced language, visual support and images, structure and small steps, a positive focus, and, when appropriate, choice. The photo-based, visual resource is divided into four key sections: Learning to Play; Learning toSay; Learning to Change and Learning to Help Myself. Editable storyboards bring difficult situations to life in a non-threatening manner and enable pupils to discuss solutions and strategies, and alternative and ideal endings.

Young Minds have recently launched their 360° which will support schools in taking a whole school approach and ensure your school achieves best practice in wellbeing and resilience. You can find out more here.

The Islington Mental Health and Resilience in schools (iMAHRS) also sets out the components of school practice and ethos that effectively develop resilience, promote positive mental health and support children at risk of, or experiencing, mental health problems. You can view the framework here.

Last week the Duchess of Cambridge launched the latest initiative from Heads Together to support children’s mental well-being. Mentally Healthy Schools brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.  The site is currently in its pilot phase which will run during 2018 with selected schools. However it will be publicly available from spring 2018. If you would like to receive a notification when the site is launched, please email mhs@annafreud.org with your contact details.

If you are taking part in Children’s Mental Health week, we would love to hear from you on our  twitter or Facebook pages #BeingOurselves.