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Mental Health - Key Stage 3 & 4


Guidance, Resources and Articles



Parliament UK

Children and young people’s mental health — The Role of Education: Education and mental health services need to work together to plan the most effective way of improving children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. Click on the link to be taken to Parliament website where guidance is available.


PSHE Association

Mental Health and PSHE Education Briefing


Public Health England Guidance

Measuring and monitoring children and young people's mental wellbeing: A toolkit for schools and colleges. With half of all diagnosable mental health disorders established by the age of 14, there is a strong case to promote children and young people's mental health. There are a range of risks and protective factors that impact on mental wellbeing. These span individual factors, family, learning environment and the wider community. The evidence tells us that the learning environment plays an important and valued role in helping protect and promote student mental wellbeing. 



You're never too young to talk mental health - Schools are on the front line when it come's to children's mental health. Click here to see resources from the Anna Freud website.

Join their children's mental health campaign and access resources relating to:

  • Supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools
  • Expert advice films
  • All our resources will be free to access online through Schools in Mind network.  To join please click here.

Also included in this resource is:


Lesson Plans, PowerPoints and Resource Packs

Times Educational Supplement: Depression - A Lesson Plan. MANDOWN is a 6min short film that has been backed by leading mental health charity CALM in the UK and HEADSTRONG in Ireland. Mainly discussion based to start to get students to become more aware of depression and to deepen their understanding of it.

Mental Health PowerPoint for use in secondary schools. World Mental Health Day. "Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time; its the fear of failure but no urge to be productive, its wanting friends but hate socialising, its the desire to be alone but not wanting to be lonely, its caring about everything then caring about nothing, its feeling everything at once then feeling paralysing numbness".

Gloucestershire Children and Young People's Service presents a Bereavement Pack which contains factual information, case studies, a book list with suggested reading as well as other avenues for guidance, support and advice. It aims to promote greater understanding of grief, highlight the importance of listening and also some templates for sharing information. Below are two links for charities that provide more information as well as some lesson plans from the Child Bereavement Trust.

2015 - Gloucestershire's Little Red Book - Where to go for help on mental health and emotional wellbeing, or if you need someone to talk to. A 28-page booklet including 5 Ways to Wellbeing; Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give. For further copies ring Health Promotion Resources on 0300 422 6082 based at the Library, Redwood Education Centre on the site ate Gloucestershire Royal Hospital or email



Academic Resilience

PowerPoint: Academic resilience - Beating the odds for better results.  A presentation for schools to amend and use. /Academic Resilience.pptx



Digital Detoxing 

Help young people to meet the #UNPLUGGED challenge!

These adaptable resources for schools can be used to encourage students to unplug their media devices.  

/# Unplugged - digital detox challange & sponsorship form.docx

/# Unplugged - digital detox letter to parents.docx

View the Stay Unplugged website here.



Prioritising Mental Health in Schools

Young Minds #TellOfsted to make mental health a priority in our schools:




Staying Mentally Healthy During Revision and Exam Time 

Wellbeing Activities For Exam Season: Using ideas from schools around the country, we've put together a timetable of wellbeing activities and support that could fit around a week of exams in your school. Download the Stress-Buster Timetable.

Worksheet For Pupils - Finding a Work/Rest Balance: Many pupils may struggle to find a healthy balance between revising and resting. This worksheet helps them visualise that balance; on one side they list all their worries and what they need to get done, and on the other side what they can do to rest and relax.  Download the worksheet.

For Staff and Pupils: Printable posters to display in the staff room or classroom, with helpful reminders for how we can stay mentally healthy during exams. 

- Download the poster for staff

- Download the poster for SATs

- Download the poster for secondary school pupils

For Parents: Supporting your child during exams can be challenging for parents to navigate too!  Use this handy webpage to explore practical ways to support your child, and leanr about places they can go to get help if they are worried. Visit the guide.



Exam Stress Lesson Plan Pack 

Exam stress lesson plan pack KS3/KS4 


Use this lesson plan, PowerPoint and accompanying videos to teach students to identify the signs and symptoms of exam stress and recognise that it can affect young people, before, during and after an exam.

Using the concept of designing an 'exam buddy' app to help them, students develop helpful strategies for managing their own exam stress and supporting friends who may also be experiencing stress.

Downloadable resources include:

  • Exam stress lesson plan PDF
  • Managing exam stress: tips and advice PDF
  • PowerPoint for use in class



Exam Stress PowerPoint and Booklet 

Young Minds Matter have produced resources to support young people in identifying and managing exam stress. The PowerPoint below can be used by education staff to address the issue within their setting, and the booklet has been created for use by students. 

Exam Stress PowerPoint

Exam Stress Booklet




Taking CARE To Promote Mental Health in Schools and Colleges

The CARE animation is a short animation for all school and college staff that recognises the importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health in schools and colleges, and offers a simple principle for staff to remember; CARE. (Curious, Approachable, Refer, Empathy). 

The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook

A suicide prevention guidebook written by Suicide Crisis' CEO, Joy Hibbins is now available in most booksellers including Waterstones and WHSmith. 

The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook: How To Support Someone Who Is Having Suicidal Feelings focuses on how to support a friend, family member or colleague who is having suicidal thoughts. The book will also be helpful to professionals who encounter people in crisis in their work.

The book provides advice, skills and strategies to support someone in a suicidal crisis, and help them to survive.

Pre-publication comments include:

“I regularly hear from carers, friends and family that they feel ill-equipped to support their loved ones in their times of need and this book will fill this important gap by offering skills and understanding that can be applied widely.”

Dr Deborah Dover, Deputy Medical Director, Consultant Psychiatrist and Suicide Prevention Lead at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (London) Mental Health NHS Trust

“The generosity of Joy’s knowledge and wisdom is so apparent and the gentle way in which it is shared ensures that no-one who reads this book will ever need to feel that they don’t know what to do when their loved one or friend is needing support for suicidal thoughts. Joy captures answers to all of the questions most people probably don’t even know they have, and there is an abundance of learning here that is readily and easily usable for both family, friends, colleagues or professionals working with people experiencing distress. Her respect and compassion for people in suicidal crisis is most telling. A fantastic contribution to international suicide prevention resources.”  

Sonja Eriksen, Trauma and Suicide Prevention Specialist, New Zealand

 Joy’s author royalties from sales of the book are being paid directly by the publisher to our charity, so that the charity Suicide Crisis benefits from sales of the book, rather than the author.  

Some booksellers have the book on special offer for anyone pre-ordering the book now (such as here at WH Smith):

The Suicide Prevention Pocketbook: How to Support Someone Who is Having Suicidal Feelings by Joy Hibbins | WHSmith

You can also pre-order it now from Amazon (paperback or Kindle):

Employers wishing to buy several copies of the book for their staff can receive substantial reductions in the cost of the book. Please contact us for more details:

Tim Miles


Suicide Crisis  


Suicide Crisis is a registered charity which runs a Suicide Crisis Centre and a Trauma Centre.

We have been providing services for eight years and have never had a suicide of a client under our care.

Suicide Crisis is a registered charity (charity no. 1170444).  

Registered as a charity in England and Wales.

Suicide Crisis, P.O. Box 1344, Cheltenham. GL50 9FP.


Twitter: @Suicide Crisis



Feeling Good: Promoting Children's Mental Health

Download the 'Feeling Good: Promotion Children's Mental Health' resource here.

Good mental health in childhood is important because it lays the foundations for social and emotional wellbeing throughout life.

Poor mental health affects our children's ability to concentrate at school and home and can make it more difficult for them to learn, communicate and to get on with other people.

Many factors can affect our mental health, and parents can play a key role. This booklet and fun activity sheets provide information and practical ideas to help you build on what you already do to promote positive mental health in your child.

Having good mental health is as important for your child as good physical health. As parents we make sure our children are protected from certain physical illness and we understand that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise help our children to enjoy a healthy life.



Public Health England Resource

This is a fantastic resource featuring content co-created with young people. Designed for ages 11-16 and aims to delay and prevent them from engaging in exploratory risky behaviours and promote good mental health. The resources have been accredited by the PSHE Association and the first phase covers: 

  1. Smoking
  2. Exam stress
  3. Body Image in a digital world
  4. Online stress
  5. Alcohol
  6. Forming positive relationships
  7. Bullying and cyberbullying



Other Resources

Stroud Local Evaluation of the Gloucestershire Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilot - Final report to NHS Gloucestershire CCG

The Little Book of Mental Health Life Hacks - How to look after your own mental health. Written by the Somerset Young Mental Health Champions

Time to Change - Small things can make a big difference mental health

Time to Change - #nojudgement 

Unexpected or Traumatic Death of a Pupil or Child Pack for Schools and Early Years Settings

Worlds Mental Health Facts bookmark




Teenage mental health crisis: Rates of depression have soared in the past 25 years  - How has society managed to produce a generation of teenagers in which mental health problems are so prevalent?

Huffington Post - 13 Things The Next Government Needs To Do To Improve Children’s Mental Health

How to explain why you self-harm to people who don't understand - The Mighty

Refinery 29 - How to React when your Friend is Talking about Suicide

The Children's Society - We all need to keep poverty in mind

Instagram 'worst for young mental health' - A UK Snapshot Survey has suggested that Instagram is the worst social media platform, when it comes to its impact on young people's mental health. Mental health charities have urged companies to act on increasing user safety.

My 'Mental Health Manifesto' for Britain's Schoolchildren. An interesting article by the Government's first mental health champion. 

The Guardian - Children need to know stress is normal, not necessarily a mental health problem



Useful Websites

Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline - provides a safe, supportive, non-judgemental and informative space for people who self harm, their friends, families and carers.

Grassroots Suicide Prevention

Hub of Hope  - A site that finds nearby mental health services. 

Mental Health First Aid England - An educational course which teaches people to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health issue.

Mind - for better mental health

MindEd - e-learning to support young healthy minds

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Improving the lives of people with mental illness.

Wintston's Wish - the charity for bereaved children



 Voices of children: "Are they shouting because of me?"

Much of the research into the impact on children of living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health is from the perspective of adults – with limited insights from children themselves. We wanted to hear directly from children what it was like to live in these households. This article (July 2018) highlights the voices of children living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health issues. Click here to view the full article



Mental Health Break poster -  Download it here.


What is Mental Health? - Download the poster here.



Help Children and Young People Talk About Loneliness 

A national survey of children and young people showed that one in ten 11 to 22 year olds reported often or always feeling lonely.

New to our schools programme, NHS approved Every Mind Matters Building connections resources aim to encourage young people in Year 6, KS3 and KS4  to discuss loneliness and provide them with self-care techniques they can use when they’re feeling lonely. 

To support teacher's on mental health, the Every Mind Matters tool is available on the School Zone to provide support on simple, practical advice for a healthier mind.  


Tagged under: mental health, mental illness, bereavement, self harm, stigma, depression, parents, booklet, talking mental health, teacher toolkit, schools in mind, anna freud, key stage 3 & 4, emotional health, well being, resilience, Key Stage 5, emotional health, social media, cyber, safety, digital detox, exam stress, loneliness

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