Without good mental health, our ability to learn and take in new information can be significantly affected.
While the need for good physical health is often assumed, the need for good mental health can be forgotten. When our mental health is nurtured and supported, we are better able to deal with what life presents us with, especially for young people at school, and to thrive in our choices.
The resources in this section have been created and collated to support the development of good mental health in children and young people. There are ideas and practical suggestions for use in and around the school and classroom.
YoungMinds manifesto film in which young people talk about the changes they want to see in the support provided to those with mental health problems.
A creative resource, including activities, rap and videos for professionals to use to raise awareness and educate young people on mental health and wellbeing. Includes 12 short films plus downloadable activities and handouts.
Teenage mental health: teenagers talk about sex, relationships, drugs and depression
Blame my brain: the amazing teenage brain
Walker Books, London (2007)
Readable and entertaining guide to the practical implications of the neuroscience of the adolescent brain.
Brain Waves module 2: Neuroscience implications for education and lifelong learning
The Royal Society (2011)
State of the science summary with strong research and evidence base highlighting implications for learning.
Cattanach, A. (1997) Children’s Stories in Play Therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley
Lacher, D., Nicols, T. & May, J. (2005) Connecting with Kids through Stories. London: Jessica Kingsley
Weare, K (2004) Developing the emotionally literate school, London, Paul Chapman Publishing
A practical, skills based approach to achieving a critical mass of emotionally literate people, adults and children, in school, based on extensive research.
Holmes, E., How to be Happy, Life Squared, 2011
A guide exploring the issue of happiness including practical tips for improving mental health and wellbeing.
Kehoe, I (2004) Including Dizzee Rascal: Transforming behaviour, attendance and learning through child-centred practice (scroll down page), London, Grubb Institute (scroll down)
Reflective article drawing on the school experience of rapper Dizzee Rascal and thinking about child-centred practice in school to suggest different ways of working.
White, M. & Epston, D. (1990) Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. New York: W.W. Norton.
Davis, N. (1990) Once Upon a Time: Therapeutic Stories to Heal Abused Children. Oxon Hill: Psychological Associates of Oxon Hill
Waters, T. (2010) Story Links: Therapeutic Storywriting with Parents and Pupils at Risk of Exclusion, J. & M. Ficksman (eds) (2010) The Dynamics of Educational Therapy. New York: Routledge
Perry, A (ed) (2009) Teenagers and Attachment: helping adolescents engage with life and learning, London, Worth Publishing
Authoritative chapters from leading practitioners in education and therapy linked by a belief that schools can have a positive impact on teenagers with attachment difficulties.
Hunt, C. & Sampson, F. (1998) The Self on the Page. London: Jessica Kingsley
The Teen Brain: still under construction
National Institute of Mental Health (2010)
Short and thought-provoking summary of the neuroscience from the American National Institute.
Bettelheim, B. (1991) The Uses of Enchantment (new print edition). London: Penguin Books
Shooter, M and Bailey, S (2009) The YoungMind: an essential guide to mental health for young adults, parents and teachers, London, Transworld Publishers
A handbook full of useful advice for parents, teachers and young adults written by a past and the present chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Mills, J.C., & Crowley, R.J. (1986). Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within. New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.
Waters, T. (2004a) Therapeutic Storywriting: A Practical Guide to Developing Emotional Literacy in Primary Schools. London: David Fulton
Storywork Sunderland, M. (2001) Using Story Telling as a Therapeutic Tool with Children. Milton Keynes: Speechmark
Arnold, E (2011) Working with families of African and Caribbean origin: understanding issues around immigration and attachment, London, Jessica Kingsley
Young Minds in Our Schools
How interested are teachers in the emotional life of their pupils? How interested should they be? Can they listen and help pupils find the language to express their thoughts and feelings?
These are some of the questions that this book seeks to address. Providing a comprehensive guide to the facts and issues surrounding the emotional wellbeing and mental health of pupils, and emphasising the importance of school vision and culture, this book highlights the crucial role which teachers have and the importance of developing emotional literacy in everyday school life.
Waters, T. (2011) Story Links: Engaging parents of pupils with behaviour difficulties and poor literacy through therapeutic storywriting,
The Journal of Educational Psychotherapy, Issue 18, Autumn 2011
Closing the gap in educational achievement and improving emotional resilience for children and young people with additional needs
Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO) (2010)
Research review looking at what works in closing the gap in educational achievement and summarising the best available evidence.
Department for Education: Effective joint working between child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and schools – Brief
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Public health guidance 20 (2009) promoting young people’s social and emotional wellbeing in secondary
Targeted mental health in schools project
London, Department for Children, Schools and Families (2008)
Comprehensive guidance on the evidence base with references and links to further research on specific types of mental health problems and on practice in schools, focused on the 5 – 13 age range.
Royal College of Psychiatrists resources for young people
A collection of well-researched information sheets and book recommendations on a wide range of issues concerning the mental health of children and young people.
Waters, T. (2008) The Use of Therapeutic Storywriting Groups to Support Pupils with Emotional Difficulties, British Journal of Learning Support Vol. 23, No 4 pp 187-192
Writing Stories with Feeling (pdf)
Waters, T., (2004)
An evaluation of the impact of Therapeutic Storywriting groups on pupils’ emotional wellbeing, behaviour and engagement with writing.
Commissioned by the South-east Region SEN partnership (SERSEN).
CAMHS Evidence Based Practice Unit
Sits across University College London and the Anna Freud Centre and researches and disseminates information on how best to help children, young people and their families with psychological problems.
Centre for Therapeutic Storywriting
Information and resources related to the therapeutic use of stories in schools.
Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat)
Resources and research supporting mental health in schools including outputs from and evaluations of TaMHS programmes.
Practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children.
Leeds Healthy Schools and Wellbeing
A range of resources for schools on wellbeing from the Leeds Healthy Schools and Wellbeing team covering the broad wellbeing agenda, rather than just emotional wellbeing.
Nurture Group Network: international umbrella organisation for nurture groups.
A school-based counselling service, dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing of children, their families and the whole school community.
Young People in Focus
Formerly known as the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, the site offers research and resources to support many aspects of work with young people and families.