Allocations of a one-off grant from WCC have been made to education settings across the county to enable them to develop positive mental health initiatives within the curriculum.

Following a round of bidding earlier this year, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is pleased to announce that just over £166k has been allocated to support projects aiming to help children and young people improve their overall sense of wellbeing.  

There were 101 successful projects which will each receive funding ranging from £500 to £2,000 to benefit Warwickshire pupils of all ages and level of need at local authority-maintained nurseries, primary and secondary schools, special schools, academies and further education colleges. 

The fund, known as the Mental Health Curriculum in Education Settings grant, will be used to enable a wide variety of activity with a focus on providing pupils with greater opportunities to positively manage their mental health.  

Project submissions were expected to show how the setting will use the funding to provide support to help pupils set their own mental wellbeing goals, helping them to build resilience and focus on their strengths and abilities. Settings were also required to demonstrate how they will help staff to build their confidence and skills to deliver improved mental health support and look at developing a comprehensive and accessible mental health curriculum.  

All settings have now received their funding and activities are already underway across the county. These include: 

  • Offering workshops and assemblies delivered by outside organisations to encourage pupils to express their feelings and understand how they can look after their own mental health. 

  • Running parent, carer and family workshops to complement the mental health curriculum.  

  • Enabling staff to better support the emotional needs of pupils by providing training, such as Mental Health First Aid training, peer-to-peer training, and providing release time to develop the mental health curriculum. 

  • Purchasing equipment and resources such as sensory lights, weighted blankets, yoga equipment and books on emotional literacy.  

  • Making physical changes to classrooms and outdoor spaces to create environments that will foster the wellbeing of pupils such as mindfulness gardens and a greenhouse linking the study of science with the theme of growing. 

Warwickshire County Councillor Margaret Bell, Portfolio Holder for Health said: “In Warwickshire we recognise, now more than ever, the need to help our young people to build positive mental resilience from as early as possible, giving them the best chance of living happy, healthy and successful lives.  

“By supporting our education settings to take a more coordinated approach to mental health and wellbeing, we can help lay the foundations for a curriculum that enables future learners to be more resilient and as mentally healthy as possible. I hope it will not only improve their overall wellbeing but their capacity for learning too. 

“It’s fantastic to see so many settings receiving funding and all ages and abilities being given the opportunity to benefit. I very much look forward to hearing more about the many different projects over the coming months and how they have impacted the pupils involved.” 

For general mental health advice, information and support in Warwickshire go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth or www.warwickshire.gov.uk/5ways. People worried for themselves or others can find support at www.dearlife.org.uk.

Published: 17th May 2022