School staff to be given mental health training

Mental health charity the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust will fund £175,545 to provide one-to-one training for over 1,000 members members of school staff across southern and western England.

The grant was awarded to the charity as part of the Department of Health’s £3 million Health Education England award. The money will be used to train pastoral and support staff to identify mental health warning signs in pupils, so they can intervene correctly and effectively.

On its grant application, the charity said: “School pastoral and support staff are uniquely well-placed to recognise and respond to mental ill-health in pupils, and to provide effective one-to-one support, to prevent mental-health deterioration and promote positive outcomes.

“This workforce’s skill is currently under-developed and under-utilised.”

Over the course of a year, each school project will receive 10 sessions which will cover a range of mental health issues and early intervention strategies. The charity will also provide 20 online question-and-answer sessions with mental-health experts, which will be available for schools across the country.

Claire Stafford, chief executive of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, said: “This funding will help us make a difference by upskilling teachers and support staff to help recognise the warning signs, support young people, and know when they need to make a referral to wider services.”

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