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Young people from schools and colleges across Hertfordshire will benefit from a new accreditation to improve their emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The Healthy Young Minds in Herts accreditation will be awarded to schools and colleges that demonstrate a commitment to supporting pupils’ and teachers’ emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Schools and colleges embarking on the accreditation will engage in reviewing their practice and cover 11 main elements - from school leadership, ethos and staff wellbeing, to teaching students about staying well and seeking help, and targeted support for vulnerable individuals.
More than 150 representatives from schools and colleges across the county gathered at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield on Wednesday, 3 April, to mark the launch of the accreditation.
The event included inspirational talks from Adrian Bethune, Hertfordshire teacher, speaker and author, and Hope Virgo, mental health campaigner and author. The talks were followed by presentations from local schools to share good practice countywide, followed by questions and answers with a multi-agency panel.
Following on from gaining the emotional wellbeing and mental health accreditation, schools and colleges can also work towards gaining the Suicide Awareness Status award.
Several schools in Hertfordshire are already pioneering the approach, with the first accreditations due to be awarded this month after being reviewed by the Healthy Young Minds panel. The multi-agency review panel includes representatives from East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Herts Valleys CCG, Hertfordshire County Council, Public Health, Public Health Nursing, Educational Psychology and special and mainstream schools.
Kathryn Magson, CEO of NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and Chair for the Hertfordshire Emotional and Mental Wellbeing Board said: “Establishing the new Healthy Young Minds in Herts accreditation shows progress towards our commitment to improving mental health for children and young people living in Hertfordshire.
“As schools and colleges are increasingly responding to the emotional wellbeing needs of staff, parents and pupils, the early intervention approach - which this accreditation promotes - is vital. Crucially, the framework the accreditation provides schools is not just about raising awareness of emotional wellbeing and mental health through the curriculum, it involves the whole school community and promotes sharing ideas and best practice across the county.”
For more information, visit www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk
Notes to editors
· Hope Virgo: mental health campaigner and author
The whole school approach in Hertfordshire is based on national best practice outlined in Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing. A whole school and college approach. Public Health England 2015.
Hertfordshire’s two NHS CCGs, East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys CCG, which plan and buy health services for the county’s population, are working with Hertfordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Hertfordshire County Council and other partners to develop and implement the five-year mental health and wellbeing transformation plan for children and young people in Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire was recently chosen as a national trailblazer in testing Mental Health Support Teams for primary and secondary school pupils.