Whole School Approach to Good Mental Health

A mentally healthy school is one that adopts a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. It is a school that helps children flourish, learn and succeed, by providing opportunities for them, and the adults around them, to develop the strengths and coping skills that underpin resilience. A mentally healthy school sees positive mental health and wellbeing as fundamental to its values, mission and culture. It is a school where child, staff and parent/carer mental health and wellbeing is seen as ‘everybody’s business’.

A whole-school approach involves a shared ethos and commitment from the entire school, including governors, senior leaders, all school staff, as well as parents, carers and the wider community.

Support and Resource Suggestions:


A Whole School Approach is fundamental to the CIOS PSHE Curriculum, launched to prepare Cornish schools for the new statutory PSHE requirements introduced in the academic year 2020/21. The curriculum encompasses EHWB and training and resources are available to Cornish schools through our training pages.

The Healthy Cornwall Training Team offer a variety of courses which can support adults within the school setting with regard to mental health. These can also be adapted as bespoke sessions which you can tailor to meet your needs. In addition the team offer a range of open sessions including Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), which provides Suicide First Aid skills to anyone who might come into contact with a person at risk.

MindEd - An e-learning portal for professionals, parents and carers of young people. It contains a wealth of information to help you become informed and better equipped when dealing with children and young people. It is aimed at anyone and everyone working regularly with children or young people, 0-18 years of age. There are a range of materials extending from general to more specialised levels.

The DfE have produced practical materials for primary and secondary schools to use to train staff about teaching mental wellbeing as part of their response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It contains background information including where Mental Health sits within the curriculum; how to manage sessions safely; differentiation for specific approaches including SEND. Read more and download the resources here.


HeadStart Kernow in collaboration with other professionals, have developed a "virtual ring binder" to pull together resources to support the young people and families of Cornwall amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

HeadStart Kernow have also developed an online resilience tool which provides a practical way for professionals to assess young people’s online behaviour and help them make decisions about whether that behaviour represents risk of harm.

Further Signposting

Mentally Healthy Schools - Brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. The aim is to increase staff awareness, knowledge and confidence to help you support your pupils. Mentally Healthy Schools is a legacy project of the Heads Together mental health campaign.

Time to Change - A website run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness,  which aims to change the way people think and act about mental health problems in England. There are resources for schools with everything you need to help start conversations about mental health at school, including assemblies and other materials, and advice on how to talk to parents.

Young Minds - Free, practical resources to help everyone in the school community step up and support pupils; iincluding 360* Schools and Academic Resilience.

The PSHE Association has advice and resources to support this area. Some access requires membership.

Education Support is a UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff in schools, colleges and universities.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists - Provides a terrific range of leaflets about emotional health and wellbeing and mental health for teachers, young people and parent/carers.

NHS One You Mental Health - There are times when we feel stressed, low or anxious, or have trouble sleeping. But there are things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Get expert advice, practical tips and a personalised action plan via the website and Every Mind Matters campaign.

Schools in Mind - A free network for school staff and allied professionals, which shares academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care.

The Early Intervention Foundation is a charity who champion and support the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing poor outcomes. They conduct research and produce reports, working with government and all levels of the early intervention sector to ensure this evidence is used in decisions from national policy to frontline practice. (Check out their Blog)

Samaritans DEAL - This secondary resource covers a wealth of emotional health and wellbeing issues. Session plans enable students to consider the range of factors that can affect our emotional health and how to recognise signs of poor emotional health in ourselves and others.

Mind Your Way - Developed by the Cornwall CAMHS Young People’s board, with the aim of providing a safe, reliable source of information and advice. It is designed by young people, for young people but content and links will also be useful to parents, carers and professionals.

Cornwall Council - Guidance for Supporting Children and Young People

Grassroots Suicide Prevention - Based in the South East of England, since 2006 they have trained over 5,000 people in suicide prevention and mental health both locally and nationally.

Stay Alive App - A suicide prevention pocket resource for the UK offers help and support both to people with thoughts of suicide and to people concerned about someone else. This suicide prevention app won a Patient Safety Award for Technology and IT to Improve Patient Safety and can be personalised to the user.