Bright Futures Invests in Mental Health

Bright Futures Educational Trust has announced the appointment of 16 Mental Health First Aiders.

Their appointments mean there are now two trained mental health professionals in each of the schools within the Trust, to ensure the students have the expertise available if needed.

Lisa Fathers, Co-Principal at Bright Futures Educational Trust, comments: “10% of young children have a diagnosable mental health problem, according to The Mental Health Foundation – yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems do not have appropriate help.”

Lisa, herself trained by Mental Health England, was asked to represent secondary schools on the newly established Greater Manchester Children’s Health and Wellbeing Board earlier this year and as such, recognises the need to improve the outcomes of young people across the region. “The Trust has a strong history of providing excellent support to all our students,” she says. “However, young people face increasing and ever-changing pressures, so a proactive team of Mental Health First Aiders will provide the right support.”

Lisa and her team at BFET provide Mental Health training to school and college staff across the Northwest, through its highly acclaimed Teaching School, The Alliance For Learning.

All eight of the trust schools provide mindfulness lessons and are also hugely proactive in sport to encourage physical and mental wellbeing – ongoing programmes of activity are arranged with the Youth Sport Trust and every single pupil in the primary schools take part in the Daily Mile, in which they walk jog or run a mile every day to keep active.

Concludes Lisa: “Our student population is richly diverse and our academies within Bright Futures serve different communities. But one thing the students all have in common is the right to wellbeing and health support and of course professional help with their mental health if they ever need it. We are delighted to provide this, while delivering a good education, a sense of community and a place of safety.”