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WHAT IS A TRAUMA AND MENTAL HEALTH INFORMED SCHOOL?

A trauma informed school is one that is able to support children and teenagers who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour acts as a barrier to learning. Our training programmes were born out of a response to major public health studies that have shown that when children who have suffered several painful life experiences, are unhelped, there is a very high chance of them going on to suffer severe mental and physical ill-health. We therefore support schools, communities and other organisations in providing relationships for these children that heal minds, brains and bodies. Key conversational skills in addressing and making sense of what has happened are central to our work as is a major shift in whole school/organisation/community culture.

 

Why we need Trauma Informed Schools

‘Rising numbers of children are presenting with mental health difficulties in schools and current teaching environments are struggling to keep up. Many children have a high ACE score (meaning multiple adverse childhood experiences) known to leave children at risk of mental and physical ill-health later in life and even early death' (The ACE study Felitti and Anda, a study involving over 17,000 people). With the cuts in CAMHS and with over 1 million children in the UK with a mental health problem, schools are often left holding the baby. Children spend 190 days a year at school so we believe that schools are very well placed to pick up the baton and help these children.

We offer training to schools to empower and enable key staff to be able to respond effectively to mild to moderate mental health problems. The government Green Paper 'Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision' (December 2017) wants a Mental Health Lead in every school (trained member of school staff). Their research found that appropriately trained teachers /teaching assistants can achieve results comparable to those of trained therapists. To quote, "There is evidence that appropriately-trained and supported staff such as teachers, school nurses, counsellors, and teaching assistants can achieve results comparable to those achieved by trained therapists in delivering a number of interventions addressing mild to moderate mental health problems (such as anxiety, conduct disorder, substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder)”

From the ACE study to practical implementation, our interventions are informed by over 1000 cutting edge up to date research studies from neuroscience, medicine and psychology. We offer whole school inductions (whole or half a day) Senior Leads training (two days) and a Practitioner training leading to the award of Diploma in Trauma and Mental health Informed schools (University award route 12 weekend days, non- University route 10 days). We offer training in London and throughout the UK

 

Trauma Informed Schools UK is also a Big Lottery Fund winner for HeadStart in Cornwall

This has involved the implementation of Mental Health training for teachers in every school in Cornwall, which is over 270 schools involving over 44,000 children. We are also working to ‘trauma inform’ communities and other organisations in the area. This is part of a £9.8million programme to develop resilience and mental wellbeing in young people aged 10-16 years. The programme was launched in response to evidence that clearly demonstrates that half of cases of diagnosed mental illness begins before the age of 14, and 75% before the age of 18. Our Mental Health in schools and communities training programme is entirely evidence based. It is informed by over 1,000 psychology and neuroscience research studies on relationships that harm and relationships that heal. All trainings are delivered by a qualified psychologist and a Senior Lead from education who collectively share over 100 years experience of working with vulnerable children in a school setting.