Sheffield’s innovative approach to supporting children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health known as ‘Sheffield Healthy Minds’ is to be rolled out to 40 additional schools from April 2017. This follows a successful pilot with 10 schools in Sheffield, which has been held up by NHS England as an example of good practice.

The Sheffield Healthy Minds programme commissioned  by Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and Sheffield City Council and delivered by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)  supports schools to develop a whole school approach to students emotional wellbeing –  through staff training, Healthy Minds surveys, developing PSHE materials, engaging Healthy Minds Champions and supporting staff in their understanding of good mental health and early help as well as  developing stronger links with CAMHS services.

As part of the pilot, Tapton Secondary School has worked with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to provide staff training, developing advice on dealing with stress to go in every students’ planner, held assemblies on emotional wellbeing and mental health, ran stress busting support groups with teachers and CAMHS workers, created 20 mental health champions and worked with 15 pupils who were nominated to support the school with this work.

Steven Rippin, Assistant Head teacher at Tapton School, said: “The project has been a great success. It’s great to see the project being rolled out across the city.

“With support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, we have organised workshops to help students with exam pressures as well as run assemblies to help students recognise the signs of stress, create good habits to create healthy minds and manage their stress.

“My hope is that by working with our young people on their mental health we will help our students to make the right decisions and get things right for them. At Tapton we are passionate about changing the culture of mental health.  Working to improve our young people’s mental health is a long term project for us and we will continue the work that this project has started.

“This whole school approach is not only benefiting our pupils wellbeing it is also having a positive impact in all areas such as our attainment levels and a more positive approach to learning.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:  “The ‘Sheffield Healthy Minds Framework’ is part of our early help model and way of working which we have piloted in 10 of our schools. It’s great to see this pioneering programme  being rolled out to an additional 40 schools across the city to promote and support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

“This project highlights the importance  of  working in partnership with the Clinical Commissioning Group  to make sure we look after our young people’s emotional health and wellbeing .”

Kate Laurance, Head of Commissioning of children and young people at  Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It is great to progress new ways of working to support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health in Sheffield.  By linking up the NHS, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and schools we can provide support earlier, ensuring schools can identify and support emotional wellbeing so that children and young people are able to learn and achieve.