About the Author
I have worked as a teacher for over 15 years, teaching English to a wide range of ability, across a number of challenging schools. However, with the nature of education, putting increased pressure on both teachers and students, it was with great regret that I decided it was no longer the profession for me.
In 2015, I moved from mainstream education to work in an alternative education project that provided a bespoke curriculim for pupils that found it difficult to access the mainstream. The common linking theme with all the students was poor mental health. Whilst working with these students, I felt disheartened teaching a curriculum that was often irrelevent to the struggles these young adults were facing. Whilst I found I could connect well with the students, having experienced difficulties in childhood that resulted in depression & anxiety, I felt frustrated at the lack of resources available to help explain their emerging mental health issues. In learning to manage my own mental health, I had learnt a number of skills, that I passed on to students where appropriate, but felt something more concrete was needed.
It was my experiences with these young people that led me to deciding on a change in career. I am currently in my final year of training to become a mental health nurse, with the ambition of working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I believe my experiences through childhood and teaching have giving me skills that could be of benefit to young people experiencing poor mental health; I am hungry to learn more to enhance that and make a real difference.
It should be stressed that the materials produced here are the result of my teaching experience rather than indepth medical or nursing knowledge. The content within these materials largely exists on the internet, but not, in my experience, in a format that is easily accessible to teachers already spinning many plates. It is my intention to introduce the language of mental health to students, and present an overview of what can cause poor mental health, so that other more specialised services are easier accessed. In doing this I have followed government guildelines as set out in the PSHE Guidance for teaching Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing. (See link below for more details) My goal is to use my years of teaching experience to create high quality resources in a format that will encourage understanding and discussion to aid in the reduction of stigma.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 adolescents suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, a number which is rapidly growing. Hopefully Thriving Futures will be a start in addressing this. I hope you find the materials I have written useful, easily accessible, and that you enjoy teaching them. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.