Centre to tackle mental health in schools to open

Leeds Beckett University is set to launch a centre aimed at strengthening mental health in schools across the UK.

The national Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to improve the mental health of the next generation by supporting schools in making positive changes at all levels of the UK's education system.

The centre will offer schools the opportunity to apply for the School Mental Health Quality Mark.

Through existing research collaborations, the Centre has devised an accreditation process against which schools can be evaluated and assessed, allowing them to evidence the effectiveness and impact of their mental health strategies and outcomes and their whole school approach to mental health.

The Centre also offers professional development courses for everyone working in schools; a professional community to harness experience across schools, and support and guidance to help schools develop and improve mental health policies and practice.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, said: “Through the Centre, we are creating a network of practitioners – educators, mental health service providers and researchers – to define and share best practice and to support schools across the UK to implement this.

“We need to address the mental health of children first and train our students to look after children in the widest sense.

“The new Centre will give them the best possible grounding whilst boosting the skills of existing teachers and showing senior leaders how to take on a whole-school approach to tackling mental health.”

Centre members will be invited to an annual conference; the first of which will be held on Monday 26 June at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus, when the Centre will be officially launched.

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