Dr Pooky Knightsmith

Keynote Speaker, Author & Advisor

January 15, 2023

PODCAST | Mental Health in Schools

It was a real privilege and pleasure to contribute to a recent SecEd podcast about mental health in schools. You can listen in here:

From the SecEd website:

This episode offers practical advice and ideas for how schools can support and protect the mental health of their students, including creating mentally healthy school cultures and how to handle interactions with young people who are struggling…

With the latest NHS data showing that almost one in five students aged 7 to 16 have a probable mental disorder, schools are on the front-line. 

Our experts discuss the most pressing wellbeing issues they are seeing and offer advice for how schools can respond.

We discuss creating a mentally healthy school culture, whole-school strategies, the role of the mental health lead, tips for things we can do to make a difference, building resilience after Covid, and staff training & CPD.

We advise teachers on how to handle interactions with students who are struggling, what to say & do in moments of crisis, what to do if you have concerns, and other tips for conversations with vulnerable young people. 

And we discuss specific challenges including anxiety, low mood/ depression, loneliness, supporting SEND and ADHD/neurodiverse pupils, as well as the signs of change in pupils that may signal mental health issues.

For a focus on staff mental health and wellbeing, see our recent two-part episode considering how schools can support their staff and what staff themselves can do to protect their wellbeing and mental health. Find part one here.

See also our recent SecEd Webinar which discussed the rising incidence of anxiety and how we can support students who are struggling. Find this here.

The host for this episode was Pete Henshaw, the editor of SecEd and our guests are:

  • Bukky Yusuf is a senior leader from a special school in north London. Bukky is a science teacher and an educational coach
  • Pete Taylor is headteacher of Audenshaw School in Manchester. 
  • Jen Catling is a therapist who works with children and young people. She works with Anxiety UK.
  • Dr Pooky Knightsmith is a passionate ambassador for mental health, wellbeing and PSHE. Her work is backed up both by a PhD in child and adolescent mental health and her own lived experience of PTSD, anorexia, self-harm, anxiety and depression. 

To hear other SecEd podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for ‘The SecEd Podcast’ in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit www.sec-ed.co.uk/podcasts

For details about The SecEd Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at [email protected]

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