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More than ten thousand Norfolk children benefit from mental health programme in first year

Norfolk County Council, 9 January 2024 14:47

A children's mental health and wellbeing programme, funded by Norfolk County Council, has supported more than 10,000 in its first year.

The Rise Up programme gives children and young people valuable knowledge and strategies to support their mental health and is being delivered in secondary and special schools across the county. 93% of young people said that their ability to manage their wellbeing improved after completing the programme.

Created and delivered by Future Action, in partnership with Norfolk County Council's Virtual School for Children in Care, Previously in Care and Children with a Social Worker, the course aims to help children build confidence, reduce their anxiety, and create a sustainable wellbeing programme within 90 days.

More than 350 teachers across 62 secondary and special schools in Norfolk have taken part in the online training programme, which delivers a nine-step programme to help support the mental wellbeing of children and young people.

The RISE Up toolbox of strategies, physical activities and comprehensive set of resources allows teachers to deliver classroom and small group-based work which helps young people improve their wellbeing, understanding the challenges facing their mental wellbeing and approaches to overcoming them.

Cllr Penny Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said "Tackling the growing concerns around the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people is vitally important and the RISE Up programme is a brilliant tool to help us do that."

"Teachers are perfectly placed to play a part in supporting young people to understand stress and anxiety, the impact it can have and how we can look after ourselves and those around us."

Rob Connelly, Executive Headteacher at Harleston Sancroft Academy said: "As a community, we have benefitted greatly from the ongoing work and support offered by Norfolk County Council's Rise Up programme. It has played a crucial role in developing our curriculum, aligned to our vision where all members of the community are supported to experience 'Life in All Its Fullness'.

"We are acutely aware of the ongoing and ever-changing pressures and challenges faced by children and the wider community, and we have a shared responsibility to provide support, both within, and beyond the classroom because people matter."

Neil Moggan, Founding Director of Future Action, said: "We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Norfolk County Council, our partner schools and brilliant teachers across the county who give so much to our young people. It is vital that our teachers are equipped with the skills to support young people in a post lockdown education world so our children can thrive."

"We have been delighted with the take up from colleagues, their reviews of the course and the impact it is having in the classroom. We love showcasing their stories and highlighting the brilliant work they are doing on a daily basis. Norfolk County Council is leading the way on a national level with more and more areas of the country following their lead. We encourage any teachers and schools in Norfolk who want to be part of programme to reach out to us."

Following the successful partnership between Future Action and the Virtual School for Children in Care, Previously in Care and Children with a Social Worker, Norfolk County Council has commissioned the programme for a second year.

In its second year, the programme aims to embed the programme across more schools and staff to enable teachers:

  • To identify individual young people struggling with their mental health and direct them to the specialist support they need as early as possible
  • To provide more young people with a range of self-care strategies to protect and build their mental wellbeing to transform their life chances and reduce the pressure on upstream services
  • To teach the link between physical activity and mental wellbeing

In addition, the council has commissioned a 'Trauma Informed PE' programme, also delivered by Future Action. The aim of the programme is to:

  • Educate PE teachers about the impact of childhood trauma and the eight protective factors
  • How colleagues can create psychological safety to transform outcomes in the short and long term
  • The link between physical activity, play and mental wellbeing

Secondary and special school teachers or teaching assistants within Norfolk can contact futureaction.co.uk to access the courses.

Further information about the Virtual School and the offer to Children in Care, Previously in Care and Children with a Social Worker can be found by emailing Virtual.SchoolsCwSW@norfolk.gov.uk or visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk website.

Last modified: 9 January 2024 14:47