'Improving Mental Health in Schools – learning from the WISE (Wellbeing in Secondary Education) project'

16 January 2018, 12.30 PM - 16 January 2018, 1.30 PM

Dr Judi Kidger, University of Bristol

OS6 (seminar room). Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol, BS8 2BN

Judi Kidger is a Senior Research Fellow, and based in Bristol Medical School Population Sciences .  Judi's research interests focus on mental health and wellbeing in adolescence, workplace mental health and school-based public health interventions. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a school-based cluster randomised controlled trial, evaluating an intervention to improve secondary school teachers' mental health and skills in supporting students, funded by the NIHR’s Public Health Research programme.
Schools are increasingly highlighted as a setting in which children and young people’s mental health can be supported – indeed early in 2017 the Prime Minster announced that all secondary schools would receive training in ‘Mental Health First Aid’. Studies show that teenagers who feel connected to school and supported by their teachers are less likely to develop depressive symptoms and to self-harm. However, teachers themselves are at increased risk of common mental health disorders and suicide compared to other occupations. Failure to support teachers’ mental health adequately may lead to serious long-term mental disorders, as well as having negative repercussions for their students, through poor performance at work (presenteeism), and poor quality relationships. The WISE project is a cluster randomised controlled trial delivered in secondary schools. It aims to evaluate an intervention that i) supports teacher mental health through a confidential peer support service and ii) provides training for teachers in supporting student mental health through their day to day interactions. In this presentation I will consider the rationale for school-based mental health interventions, I will outline the WISE study and I will draw on baseline and process evaluation data to explore preliminary findings.

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All welcome, no booking required.

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