Helping get back to school

It is always hard going back to school after the summer holidays but this year, for many pupils they were returning to school premises for the first time since the pandemic started.

For those students who have mental health issues this must have been especially challenging.

Fortunately the College’s MindEd team – whose work includes producing free e-learning resources for children, young people and parents - were able to help.

MindEd were asked to develop e-learning for the Wellbeing for Education Return Programme – a joint initiative from the Department of Education , Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, NHS England and Public Health England.

The idea was to support staff returning to schools and colleges, following the lockdown, to respond to the pressures children and young people may experience as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to any emotional response they and their teachers may be experiencing.

To enable fast national roll-out, the programme was delivered through two webinars created by MindEd lasting one and a half hours each, which:

  • looked at how to build resilience through adopting a whole school approach
  • covered themes including stress and trauma, bereavement and loss, anxiety, low mood and providing social support.

The webinars were delivered by the Anna Freud Centre to trainers in local authorities, who are responsible for local distribution of the training within schools in their districts.

With over 450 e-learning sessions and three websites catering to parents, carers and professionals, MindEd has a large number of resources to call on. Hosted by the College, MindEd draws on the expertise of members who author and edit content.

Over 418 people from 96% of local authorities in England carried out the training, and approximately 60% to 80% of schools and colleges are expected to receive the training.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with over 92% attendees finding the training helpful, and over 90% reporting increased confidence in building resilience and wellbeing.

RCPsych President Dr Adrian James said: “The MindEd team have been doing amazing work, creating educational materials for patients, families and people working in non-medical professions who have a great influence on mental health.

“They've created some great resources around helping children and families manage during the pandemic, I’d strongly recommend that you access the resources.”

The programme can be accessed online for free here:

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