Charity Awards 2024


Helping teachers to address mental health struggles among pupils

Place2Be works in over 400 UK schools providing teachers and staff with in-person training to help students struggling with their mental health. Even before the Covid pandemic hit, demand for its services was outstripping supply, with research suggesting that up to five children in every classroom now have a diagnosable mental health issue.

Place2BePlace2Be had begun already begun piloting two online versions of its training course before the lockdowns, but the pandemic prompted the charity to accelerate its third online trial and scale up its ambitions massively to try to reach many thousands more teachers.

The five-week online programme provides an understanding of mental health and wellbeing and how a child might be exhibiting their underlying needs through their behaviours. The information is presented in short, bite-sized doses so that teachers and classroom staff can fit the training around their normal day. The course is free for qualified teachers and permanent staff in classrooms in the UK.

By May 2021, the Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme had reached nearly 54,000 teachers and school staff in the UK, at a cost per person of just over £6. This is 100 times the reach the charity would typically expect from its face-to-face training.

In an analysis of 25,700 trainees, 91% said they felt completing the course had improved their approach to tackling mental health and wellbeing in their work and 97% would recommend it to a friend. The course content has been viewed over 1.7 million times by participants from 13,800 schools.

Since this success, Place2Be has now begun developing similar projects, including one for parents and carers in its partner primary schools.

Charity Awards judge Rachel Cockett said she was impressed with the sheer scale of the work that was pivoted to online delivery during the pandemic, and the speed with which it was achieved.

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