Edge Hill University is trailblazing a programme to train people for new roles to support mental health in schools and colleges.
The Education Mental Health Practitioner PGDip course, which has just been launched, will see students work across education and healthcare settings to provide early intervention mental health support for children and young people in schools and colleges.
These new roles will support the Government’s priority of increasing access to mental health and well-being support for children and young people with a focus on early intervention.
Ally Boyne, Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, explained: ‘In response to the Government green paper there is recognition of the need to increase access of mental health and well-being support for children and young people.
‘In response to this priority, the team at Edge Hill University are excited to be part of this national project in delivering the Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) training programme, which is a shared initiative between the Department of Education and Department of Health.
‘Trainees will develop skills and competencies to deliver low-intensity evidenced-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health difficulties within educational settings, as well as having a key role in supporting the promotion of emotional health and well-being within those settings.’
As part of mental health support teams, education mental health practitioners will work across education and healthcare settings to support children and young people by promoting mental health and supporting the delivery of low intensity interventions.
Trainees will be supervised and supported to gain the necessary skills and abilities to deliver evidence-based early interventions for children and young people experiencing mental health problems within their educational setting, referring them to specialist support as necessary.
Andy Campbell, who has just started the 12-month course, said: ‘I worked as a college teacher for many years and that showed me what an enormous need there is for easier access to mental health support for young people.
‘Being part of a brand new team that aims to fill this gap is the most exciting opportunity of my career, and the post-grad diploma at Edge Hill has exceeded my expectations.’
Fellow student Doug Duckett said: ‘It is a very rewarding course with enjoyable challenges that feel extremely meaningful and important given the critical educational mental health roles it is preparing us for.’