A Whole School Approach

It is our fundamental belief  that  a healthy school is one  that places the mental health and  wellbeing of  the whole  school community at its centre .  We are working alongside schools to help them promote positive mental health, to reduce stigma  and to explore the effects of gender-stereotyping on both boys and girls.  A whole school approach is  essential to achieve these aims .

We have made a film, see below, with one of our lead secondary schools, Beechen Cliff (BCS),  about their journey to developing a whole school approach. This approach reflects the 8 key principles for promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing produced by  Public Health England: ethos & environment; leadership & management; teaching and learning; student voice; staff development; monitoring and evaluation of impact; targeted support and working with parents & carers. BCS  goes beyond these recommendations,  highlighting the importance of  student leadership and a solution focused approach across the whole school.

 Although BCS is predominantly a boys school  –  with  930 boys in years 7 to 11  and a mixed Sixth Form of 380 students – we feel that this is an approach which could be replicated in other secondary schools . This document summarises the Key Steps  the school has taken on its journey so far. Click here to view Key Steps document. This document contains Student Feedback about the school’s mental health provision and was written by members of the Student Mental Health Team following  consultation with a range of students at the school Click here to view Student Feedback document.

For further information on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy at  BCS go to

If you are interested in using the whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing in your school, our youth advisors have helped us to create a detailed summaries of the ways to involve children and young people in the approach for both Primary Schools and Secondary Schools.

A Solution Focused Approach

This  approach supports people to develop their own solutions to issues in their lives, identifying their strengths and resources and building on these . Click here for a script of suggested SF questions and here for an outline of SF Practice and more tips for conversations.

B&NES Mental Health and Wellbeing Audit Tool

This tool is a useful way to audit your mental health and wellbeing provision in school and is based on the 8 key principles outlined above. It has been produced by the Bath and North East Somerset Public Health team as part of the wider Public Health Programme for schools. It’s author, Clare Laker, is also an advisory team member for Boys in Mind. Click here for a link to the audit tool.

Lewis McCracken

The film above has been funded by the friends and family of Lewis, who tragically took his own life at the age of 17. To contribute to the fund in his memory, which we are using to support our Northern Ireland Project, go to :

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