Wirral NHS Team Launches Online Toolkit to Transform Mental Health Education

10 October 2017

An innovative online toolkit to transform the way schools deliver mental health education is being launched during a special event at Wallasey Town Hall. 

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (CWP) Wirral Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is collaborating with schools from across the region to deliver the Peer Educator project, which trains young people to deliver mental health education to fellow students. 

The Health Foundation has now commissioned Wirral CAMHS to co-design an online toolkit, which will be used as a national blueprint to enable schools in other areas to set up their own Peer Educator projects. The toolkit launch will take place at Wallasey Town Hall on World Mental Health Day (10 October), with professionals from CWP demonstrating the success of a three-year pilot project. 

Peer-led psychological education is education delivered by people of a similar age or background and has been found to improve mental health, resilience and social relationships whilst also decreasing hospital admissions. 

The Peer Educator project involves the recruitment of two students from each school who are trained to deliver a lesson on mental health and provide mental health first aid. A Peer Education Pathway is also developed to ensure students who are in need of assistance can access appropriate support. 17 schools have already participated in the Peer Educator project with an estimated 1,500 young people receiving a lesson on mental health from a fellow student. 

The Wirral CAMHS team will be sharing their insights with educators and mental health professionals through the online toolkit, which can be accessed at CWP’s award winning CAMHS website Mymind.org.uk from around the country and are hopeful that the project will alter the way mental health education is delivered. 

Dr Fiona Pender, CWP Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and Clinical Director, said: “We know that peer-led education in schools is an effective way to tackle the stigma associated with mental health, yet our project remains the only one of its kind in the country. Our aim is to share the blueprint of our successful pilot project on a national scale so that peer education can spread to other schools across the country. 

“I’d like to thank all of the schools who have participated in this project already and encourage any other Wirral based educators who are interested in getting involved in future to contact our team at Wirral CAMHS.” 

Any Wirral Based mental health professionals or educators who are interested in the Peer Educator project can contact the Wirral CAMHS team on 0151 488 7474 or by email emma.bruce@cwp.nhs.uk

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