A schoolboy outdoors looking down

Minds Up

Minds Up is a free, in-school training programme developed by BLG Mind specifically for secondary school pupils. The programme increases young people’s awareness of poor mental health, helping them to recognise the signs and take action.

Following a successful pilot with two local schools, Minds Up is available to state secondary schools in the boroughs of the Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich.

Recent research has revealed growing numbers of young people are experiencing mental health problems, and secondary schools are struggling to meet their needs (Mind, 2021). Our free Minds Up workshops are tailored to fit the unique needs of different schools and year groups, supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing.

The workshops cover a range of topics, including:

  • The transition to secondary school.
  • Exam stress.
  • Relationships.
  • Role models and boundaries.
  • Coping strategies.
  • Ways to avoid stress and maintain positive mental wellbeing.

The content of the programme has been informed by workshops with pupils and teaching and pastoral staff at two pilot schools.

The aim of Minds Up is to:

  • Normalise talking about mental health.
  • Create a space where pupils feel comfortable talking and asking questions about mental health.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of caring for our mental health and wellbeing.
  • Help students find coping strategies that work for them.

What happens in a Minds Up workshop?

In addition to receiving mental health training, every pupil receives details of organisations they can contact should they need help, as well as a list of the staff in their schools who can support them.

Pupils are offered the opportunity to:
a) Gain a better understanding of mental health and notice when things aren’t right.
b) Gain a better understanding of the importance of being kind to others.
c) Find out more about the support that is available to them.
d) Reach out for help without feeling embarrassed.

After the training sessions we debrief teachers and, where young people have requested us to do so, make referrals for further support from the school, ensuring that follow-up support reaches the pupils who need it.

Two school pupils taking part in a Minds up session

Our goal

The goal of Minds Up is to build a shared understanding of mental health so that pupils are equipped with tools and techniques to better support themselves and their mental health, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic.

School children engaging in a Minds Up session

Some statistics from the first year of the Minds Up project:

✔ 1095 young people have received training.
✔ 79% of pupils who attended said they considered their mental health to be ‘OK’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. 14% considered their mental health to be ‘bad’ or ‘terrible’.
✔ Following the training sessions, 70% of pupils said they would use the tips and activities they learnt in the sessions if they felt worried or sad.

Who are the workshops suitable for?

The workshops are adapted according to the age of the pupils, with age-appropriate content for different year groups. This year, over 1000 pupils from Years 7 to 13 participated in the Minds Up mental health training.

How much does Minds Up cost?

Thanks to the kind fundraising efforts of two families and their friends and colleagues, these workshops are offered to schools for free.

How can I sign my school up to the project?

For more information about the project or to sign your school up for free, please email workshops@blgmind.org.uk.

Together, we hope to reach as many young people as possible, ensuring they receive the appropriate and timely support they deserve.

“We should have more of these projects.”

Year 7 student, Eden Park High

“It was fun and we spoke about our worries. It made me feel I am not alone.”

Year 7 student, Newstead Wood

“Made me realise I am unhappy, but I don't feel comfortable asking a teacher for help. I don't know how to explain what is wrong.”

Year 8 student, Eden Park High

“I liked how I identified my own negative coping strategies so I know what to avoid for good mental health.”

Year 9 student, Newstead Wood

“This lesson has shown me how important my wellbeing and mental health is.”

Year 7 student, Newstead Wood

“This was useful. Difficult topics need to be talked about more.”

Year 11 student, Newstead Wood

“The programme has been very powerful for students to openly discuss what can be quite a stigmatising subject. Some are affected by mental health problems themselves and others have revealed what family members have been going through and the impact it has had on them. In the sessions, we link this to strategies for looking after our mental health and building resilience. The sessions also offer a great safe space to speak about language surrounding mental health. Often children don’t know the ‘right’ words to use, especially in Years 7 and 8, and we can work on this together.”

Minds Up trainer

Contact us

To find out more about how the Minds Up programme can support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people at your school, email us via the button below.

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