New training for Leeds teachers to help pupils with mental health

PARTNERS: Nick Mitchell and Alison Iredale, from Leeds Beckett, with Dean Johnstone and Olegs Pushkins from Stronger Minds.
PARTNERS: Nick Mitchell and Alison Iredale, from Leeds Beckett, with Dean Johnstone and Olegs Pushkins from Stronger Minds.
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University bosses have struck a new partnership to help train teachers in how to support schoolchildren and staff with mental health problems.

Leeds Beckett University will work with the Stronger Minds Community Interest Company organisation to transform the practice of trainee teachers and those at partnering schools.

It comes as the YEP is also calling on people in Leeds to help combat social stigma surrounding the issue as part of our #SpeakYourMind campaign.

The university’s Carnegie School of Education has now signed an official memorandum of understanding with Stronger Minds, an organisation working to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils and teachers,

Under the partnership, the university will develop and deliver innovative training for both trainee and experienced teachers, before holding a conference later this year with mental health and education leaders showcasing the work and future plans.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the school at Leeds Beckett, said: “This is an exciting partnership which will address an important need in the teaching workforce.

“Half of all people who suffer mental illness experience the onset of symptoms by the age of 14; and so educators need not only to know about mental health in children but to be able to respond compassionately to this growing problem.

“Developing the skills and knowledge of the school workforce through this partnership, Carnegie School of Education aims to make a major contribution to improving the life chances of children and young people regionally and nationally.”

The university said that more than half of head teachers consider local mental health resources insufficient, and say they have seen an increase in issues amongst pupils.

Leeds Beckett has backed the YEP’s #SpeakYourMind campaign, following our launch in October.

The campaign has so far featured a series stories of celebrities and key figures who have shared their own experiences with mental health.

And ahead of Christmas and New Year’s Day, the YEP called on people in Leeds to consider pledging time to talk with a loved one, friend, colleague or neighbour who has mental health issues.

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