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New framework published on ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and well-being

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DECIPHer and Wolfson Centre for Mental Health contribute to mental health policy 

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we cannot underestimate the importance of mental health. For children and young people, isolated from their teachers and peers during much of the pandemic, this is especially important. In July 2020, Welsh Government launched an open consultation, seeking views on its draft framework guidance on embedding a ‘whole-school approach’ to mental health and well-being. The framework is intended to ‘support schools in reviewing their own well-being landscape’.

The consultation enabled contributors to comment and suggest improvements to the framework, which covers areas such as supporting learners and staff; development and embedding of best practice; consistency and collaboration between schools and partners and activities such as training and awareness.  

The consultation ran between July and September 2020 and 142 responses were received. DECIPHer and the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health submitted a response, which can be read here. DECIPHer Director Professor Simon Murphy also contributed to the Joint Ministerial Task and Finish Group that supported the development of the initial guidance.

The Framework was published by the Welsh Government on 15th March 2021 and is available here. According to the Government it ‘enables schools to scope their need, mapping their strengths and weaknesses, using the range of data they have available to them.’ It also references the importance of using School Health Research Network (SHRN) data in measuring impact and auditing and shaping curriculum and teaching practices.

Welsh Government Education Tweeted: ‘Building stronger relationships and supporting each other is at the very heart of the new #WholeSchoolApproach to mental health and emotional well-being framework.’ Finally, something positive to emerge from a challenging year.