Ecclesiastical funds training to help independent schools support pupils with their mental health

10 October 2022

The funding is being made available to provide 32 independent schools from across the UK with free Youth Mental Health First Aid and Suicide First Aid training to help them manage pupil mental health effectively.

The mental health of pupils is a huge challenge for teachers and staff to manage. Previous research1 by Ecclesiastical has shown an increase in pupil mental health issues year on year and independent schools have witnessed an increase in pupil anxiety (38%), stress (36%) and depression (35%) since the pandemic.

Funded by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical and delivered in partnership with Mental Health in Business, independent schools will learn practical skills to spot the signs of mental health issues and how to support young people in distress.

Faith Kitchen, Customer Segment Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As one of the leading insurers of schools in the UK, Ecclesiastical is passionate about supporting the education sector. Independent schools have seen an increase in pupil anxiety, stress and depression since the pandemic and the mental health of pupils is a key risk for teachers and staff to manage. We’re delighted to be partnering with Mental Health in Business to help support schools with managing pupil mental health effectively.”

Claire Russell, CEO at Mental Health in Business, said: “With more children and young people than ever before experiencing common mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, and experiencing high levels of stress, it has never been more important to ensure that schools are properly equipped to support pupils’ mental health effectively. The Youth Mental Health First Aid Training and Suicide First Aid Training being funded by Ecclesiastical is powerful and evidence-based, and will significantly add to teachers’ toolkits and confidence.

“It is important to create conditions of psychological safety within every school setting, so that pupils feel safe to talk about how they feel, to ask for help when they need it and that they know they will be supported. Stigma is one of the most significant barriers to people getting help with mental health issues – and one of the biggest contributors to stigma, is language. Schools should challenge stigma at every opportunity and take every opportunity to highlight the importance of the language used when discussing mental health.”

Ecclesiastical Insurance offers a range of risk management support and guidance to help independent schools manage the risks they face. For more information, visit the Hub for Education.

1 The survey was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by OnePoll with 500 UK professionals in schools and sixth forms from 1 to 19 October 2021. 117 were from independent schools.