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Our Education in Mind programme for schools is part of Dorset Mind Your Head and is a free service.

We have identified that there are currently very few youth services specifically designed to support Young People’s mental health in Dorset.

UK research says that 1 in 10 young people are in desperate need of help.
Our research tells us this number is higher.

So, in order to support young people aged 11 to 18 in the local area with mental health problems we are developing a number of education programmes and support options across Dorset, working particularly within schools.

We implement a whole school approach, ie a combination of interventions aimed at all members of the school community – students, teachers, the wider school workforce, parents and the local community.

The project focuses on prevention and de-stigmatisation of mental illness, promotion of mental health and a general raising of awareness about mental health.

We will mainly focus on coping (building and promoting resilience) and getting help (early intervention).
For those with the greatest need we also provide access to more specialised services such as befriending and counselling.

Some of our key priorities are;

  • Addressing the whole school environment
  • Strengthening the active involvement of parents
  • Increasing school based help sources which are confidential, empathic, available to all and non stigmatising.

When we start working with your school, we begin by mapping the current activity around emotional wellbeing and resilience in order for us to identify which areas to focus on, and how we can best support the emotional needs of your students.

We then deliver an assembly to each year group.

The assembly; 

  • Explores what is meant by mental health, wellbeing and resilience.
  • Helps students to understand that a healthy mind and emotions are beneficial for everyone.
  • Increases understanding of common mental health problems and where to turn to for support.
  • Explores how to stay mentally healthy and gives tips on how to keep your mind well.

The assembly is available to download here

Alongside the assemblies, a raft of posters will be displayed widely around the school to form part of a visual campaign whose purpose is;

  • To normalise conversations about mental health.
  • To raise awareness of support available.
  • To educate about common mental health concerns and what to do about them.

Following on from this, we deliver mental health education through PSHE lessons and a targeted series of 6 wellbeing workshops for those who need support but are not already accessing it.

The PSHE lessons are based on the ‘7 c’s of resilience’ and cover;

  1. Coping – mental health awareness
  2. Character – Emotional Awareness
  3. Control – Emotional Intelligence
  4. Competence – Positive psychology & playing to your strengths
  5. Confidence – Self esteem
  6. Connection – Helpful listening and reaching out to others
  7. Contribution – Peer support

These lessons are available to download here

The series of 6 workshops cover;

Session 1 – Creating your mental health toolkit
Session 2 – Recognising and naming emotions
Session 3 – Thoughts, feelings and behaviour
Session 4 – Self esteem and core beliefs
Session 5 – Coping strategies and self care
Session 6 – Handling relationships

These are available in blocks of six for up to 12 students.

We also recruit and train Wellbeing Mentors from years 9+ whose role it is to promote emotional wellbeing within the school, act as a listening ear and signpost students to support. These mentors will receive four 1 hr training sessions and will continue to be met with on a termly basis to monitor their progress. Members of school staff will be nominated (voluntarily) to support the wellbeing mentors on a regular basis.

Other support options

Dorset Mind can also work with you to set up;

  • Drop-in sessions in school: to answer difficult questions and signpost to the right support
  • Befriending: 1-2-1 help to build resilience, reduce isolation and empower students really struggling. Our current Befriending Service offers individual support by trained volunteer befrienders to those with mental health problems. The aim is to improve the quality of life of their clients by helping them to regain confidence and social skills so they can become self-sufficient again.Trained volunteers provide one-to-one support that promotes social inclusion.  They support and encourage people to access their own community and create social opportunities, to thereby increase their self-confidence and social interactions.
  • Counselling: 1-2-1 help to deal with difficulties

Monitoring and evaluating our progress 

We measure the mental wellbeing of students within the school at various points within the project. This is for 3 key purposes;

Snapshot: to provide a survey snapshot of student mental wellbeing to inform planning  Identification: to identify individual students who might benefit from early support to facilitate swifter access to the right specialist support  Evaluation: to consider the impact of early support and targeted interventions

We will do this via carefully considered surveys and workshops which will be quick, easy and non-intrusive. We will maintain confidentiality at all times.
If you are interested in running Dorset Mind Your Head in your school, please contact

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