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Mental health

Mindful Toolkit

The Mindful Toolkit includes information cards and task cards. It was designed to be used with prisoners with a range of SEND needs but it particularly focuses on mental well-being. The resource was developed and trialled by a group of prison-based learning support specialists working with learners with SEND. Each task card is mapped to a SEND pathway: Communication and interaction, Learning and cognition, Social, emotional and mental health, and Sensory and hearing impairments.

An image of the Word Ladders activity within the Mindful Toolkit resource


Mental health, wellbeing and anxiety

ETF's Centre for Excellence in SEND People lead, Weston College delivered a working lunch webinar called Mental Health, wellbeing and anxiety: A practical guide exploring support, tools and training.

To find out more about our CfE in SEND activities visit the Communities of Practice page.

Mental health at work

The new Mental Health At Work portal provides quick access to the best resources out there to support mental health in the workplace. You can filter on education and teaching to find resources, toolkits and training relevant to the sector. The resources are grouped into four categories:

  1. support for line managers, colleagues and staff
  2. ways to assess my organisation's approach
  3. ideas to improve workplace culture
  4. help to develop policy and practice.

The website provides specific resources and support for supporting the wellbeing of staff in further education.

A recently added resource on the website is Coronavirus: Coping with the challenges of working from home.

Supporting apprentices' mental health

The Foundation created three resources to support our apprenticeship programme: Promoting positive mental health for all, Small change big difference and Talking about mental health. The practical advice given by teachers and the insights from apprentices into the challenges they face are relevant across FE and skills.

The specialist addition modules are included in the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion in apprenticeships course; you will need to register on the Foundation Online Learning site.  

Understanding the wellbeing of the post-14 education workforce

An image of the Understanding the wellbeing of the post-14 education workforce

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) commissioned Education Support in February 2019 to research the levels of wellbeing of SET Members who represent a broad spectrum of practitioners in the post-14 education sector.

The report highlights three work-related areas which SET members said would enhance their wellbeing and benefit them in their roles as practitioners across further education, vocational training and teaching:

  • collegial and effective leadership and management
  • autonomy and trust
  • additional support for newly-qualified teachers and Further Education (FE) professionals changing roles
Support for education staff

Education Support is the only charity that supports the mental health and wellbeing of all education staff. They offer a free and confidential helpline which is available 24/7 and staffed by qualified counsellors as well as grants to those experiencing a financial crisis. In October 2018,they released the findings of their survey into the mental health of the education sector which includes responses from people working in the Further Education and Training sector.

Our Associate, Neil Bates, wrote about the importance of mental health support for leaders – read his FE Week article.

Managing mental health in crisis

Weston College, who lead on the theme People, held a webinar, Managing mental health in crisis where they shared their approach to the management of mental health of both students and staff. During the webinar they introduce their Body and Mind policy, how they've changed the culture within the organisation and how they've developed a mental health specialist support model. 

Image of the mental health in crisis presentation used in the webinar

Understanding developmental trauma

Weston College, Centre for Excellence in SEND (people) delivered a webinar, Understanding developmental trauma in the SEND Classroom, as part of our community of practice offer. They explored - what is trauma, what are the visible and hidden impacts and how can organisations support learners and employees using a trauma-informed approach?

Young people who have experienced poor attachment histories and/or adverse childhood experiences are at risk of developing trauma symptoms. Ongoing trauma will affect the healthy development of the brain and nervous system resulting in possible learning impairment, poor emotion control, hyper-arousal or dissociative states. Weston College respond to learners in order to promote a sense of safety and connection whilst supporting them to regulate emotion, so learning can take place.

Quick links

Every Mind Matters - offers information and advice to help maintain mental health. The website was created by Public Health England. The tips and advice are approved by the NHS.

Mental Health At Work portal provides quick access to the best resources out there to support mental health in the workplace.

MindEd - Educational resources containing advice, guidance and information on managing a wide range of mental health issues in children and teens.

The MHFE website - houses research reports and resources to help learning providers promote good mental health and support staff and learners with mental health difficulties.


Talking anxiety with Nick Elston

Talkig anxiety with Nick Elston. Nick shared his tips, tools and techniques that helped him in his own recovery. The webinar, hosted by Weston College, focused not just on what anxiety is - but what anxiety does - how it keeps us in a comfort zone, stops us living a life on our terms and ultimately how it affects success - by your own definition.

Screenshot from the webinar, Talking anxiety with Nick Elston

Supporting learners with transition

Weston College, Centre for Excellence in SEND (people) have been using 3D interactive tours to assist learners manage their anxiety around transition to the college environment. Use of this technology has benefitted other areas of the college business too. The delivered a Interactive tour to aid transition webinar to explore the use of 3D interactive tours as a tool to support both staff working in inclusive practice and SEND teams, and learners with a SEND need.