school mental health

A new wellbeing subscription service is launched this week which aims to tackle the biggest issue facing education today – school mental health

Dubbed ‘Netflix for wellbeing’, Brilliant Schools is a wellbeing club that enables schools to ‘subscribe to happiness’ by providing tools and resources to help boost the wellbeing of pupils, teachers and parents, all through a simple, not-for-profit subscription.

The mental health crisis in our schools is well documented. UK teenagers rank next to bottom in international measures of wellbeing, while a recent report by the Children’s Society revealed that a shocking 1 in 4 14-year-old girls admits to self-harming to cope with the pressures of modern life.

Meanwhile, there is also a recruitment crisis, as more and more teachers leave the profession citing stress and pressures both inside and outside the classroom.

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Brilliant Schools is a service created by two not-for-profit organisations, the National Learning Trust and Art of Brilliance, to address these problems. The service flips wellbeing on its head – rather than waiting for staff and pupils to break under the pressure, the service provides schools with the strategies, resources and knowledge they need to integrate happiness and wellbeing throughout the curriculum, and into the fabric and culture of the school.

The Brilliant Schools programme draws on positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help children, parents and staff develop growth mindsets and resilience.

Bringing together brilliant education and brilliant businesses

While some schools are subscribing to the service themselves, in others, parent groups have been raising funds to cover the costs and help make their schools a healthier, happier place.

The service also aims to act as kind of ‘dating service’ to bring together businesses and organisations to help them support and build closer relationships with their local schools. Through just a small investment of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ budget, organisations can make a meaningful contribution to the future wellbeing of their children, community and even their customers.

Dr Andy Cope, head of Art of Brilliance who has spent 15 years researching positive psychology says:

“The world’s gone mad, but that doesn’t mean you have to. The present system of waiting for people to show signs of mental illness and then fixing them, is at best an expensive and ineffective way of addressing the mental health crisis in our schools. We don’t want to fix young people after they are broken – we want to help them stay whole by giving them the tools to manage their mental health and equipping them to live happy lives.

We know that parents, students and teachers are already doing a brilliant job. However, staying brilliant, and maintaining your energy and enthusiasm under pressure can be difficult, and that’s where we want to help.”


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