One in six school-aged children between the age of 5 and 16 experience a mental health issue. According to NHS Digital, these figures have risen from one in ten in 2004 to one in six in 2020.
With 50% of mental ill health developing by the age 15 and 75% developing by the age of 18, it makes sense to focus on the wellbeing of young people before issues arise. Creating a positive culture for mental health and wellbeing in schools is an integral part of improving the lives of young people and education staff.
That is why St Andrew’s College, part of St Andrew's Healthcare, has developed the LightBulb Mental Wellness Programme for Schools.
'Our LightBulb programme provides schools with an opportunity to build a culture of mental health support for their students. We feel it’s very much part of our responsibility to make sure we're using our skills to help schools to pick up on problems early on and support their young people.' Cheryl Smith, Head Teacher St Andrew’s College
LightBulb is a programme that provides a ready-made framework for primary and secondary schools. It enables those that participate to demonstrate and showcase excellence regarding mental health practice to regulatory bodies such as Ofsted.
What are the main aims of the programme?
Once schools have signed up they will receive:
Some of the courses that are available to LightBulb schools are:
In addition, The LightBulb Mental Wellness Programme offers the MHFA (England) Youth Mental Health First Aid Courses at a heavily discounted price for all LightBulb Schools.
We are also happy to discuss individual school's mental health and wellbeing training needs and create bespoke training where possible.
All of our training courses are bookable by schools not involved in the LightBulb Programme for a fee. Prices available on application.
NHS England has provided funding for 20 secondary schools local to St Andrew’s as a pilot in partnership with Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust (NHFT).
The programme also ties in fully with the Government’s plans to increase the amount of mental health support pupils get from schools.
This is a not-for-profit programme as staff at St Andrew's feel very strongly about helping young people improve their mental health.
It is our aim to make the programme affordable and accessible to all schools. The pricing structure is:
Primary schools with up to 200 students on roll £200
Primary schools with above 200 students on roll £400
Secondary schools £800
For more information or to sign up, telephone 01604 616797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The first school which took part in the programme is Castle Academy in
Northampton. Former Headteacher Lorna Beard, who is now Head of Inclusion of the East Midlands Academy Trust, is rolling the initiative out across all the schools she oversees.
Lorna said: “If you’re a school that is really open to some challenge and open to honest and professional dialogue and actually wants to move things forward, I think the support that you will get from St Andrew’s is open-ended. You will get out of it what you’re prepared to put in.
“I think one of the biggest benefits to us has been the access to the high-quality training that we’ve been able to offer to all of our staff at all levels because part of this, for us, is it’s about every staff member on their day-to-day journey being able to spot the signs that worry us about children or spot those children that are going under the radar that perhaps need a little bit of support. For some of them it really has been life-changing and being able to come in and do some mindfulness and to identify that actually they need some time out has really changed outcomes for them.”
Image shows Wilbur the Worry Monster a devise which allows younger children to express their fears and worries.