WHO comprehensive framework for health promotion in schools
Thriving Futures is aimed at whole school intervention, sitting in the 'Mental Health Education' part of the World Health Organisation model for schools.
The intention is to introduce students (and teachers) to a overview of what mental health is, how good mental health is developed, what can go wrong and how we can do simple things to begin to put that right. It is about providing a key knowledge and the language of mental health, so that:
1. Pupils are able to maintain good mental health in an ever increasing stressful world of exams, social media, peer pressure, negative news, body expectations ...
2. Students that do need more specialised help, be it through school based intervention or through more specialised services such as CAMHS or CBT programmes, are able to access it more easily
A more detailed explanation of the research behind Thriving Futures, as published in the Education and Health Journal, can be found here:
Thriving Futures: A whole school curriculum response to addressing the social and emotional welfare needs of secondary school pupils.
The rise of mental health issues amongst children and young people is of growing national concern, one which the government is looking to address through the use of School Based Interventions (SBI). Their Green Paper (Department of Health/Education, 2017) and more recent press release (Department Education, 2018) has proposed the universal teaching of positive mental health skills. Previous attempts at introducing social and emotional education, through Targeting Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) and UK Resilience Programme (UKRP), reveal a number of issues that need addressing in order the for teaching of such skills to be effective: time, cost, teacher knowledge and understanding, fidelity to programme and longevity of impact.
Thriving Futures is a flexible whole school curriculum response, written by an experienced teacher, that addresses these fundamental issues. The core unit provides knowledge and understanding of why poor mental health can develop by using the cognitive behaviour technique of showing the how thoughts can impact feelings and behaviour, before demonstrating skills to help change this negative cycle. Further ‘satellite’ units refer to these core skills thus reinforcing the message through units that schools can choose according to their need. Resources have been created to fit into the British school system, to be easily accessible regardless of academic ability and to have the flexibility required to meet the individual needs of schools and requirements of OFSTED.