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News Archives

Derby and Derbyshire Emotional Health and Wellbeing
September 14, 2020

Please head over to to access Mental Health and Wellbeing support across Derby & Derbyshire.  The one stop shop to finding help.

Emotional Health and Mental Wellbeing affect all aspects of our lives and health choices. Mental wellbeing is about feeling good and functioning well, as individuals and as communities. It is also about our ability to cope with life’s challenges and making the most of life’s opportunities.

This website has been designed collaboratively by professionals who work across Derby & Derbyshire to help plan and deliver care & support for people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or just want to feel happier.

The site is aimed at professionals, members of the public, children and young people who wish to access local services or just require further information on the services that are available to them.

World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10, 2020

Organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), World Suicide Prevention Day brings together a wide-range of charities and organisations from right across the globe on the 10th of September every year to raise awareness and help prevent premature deaths by suicide.

You can find out more by visiting the IASP website, or the dedicated Suicide Prevention Day website, both of which can be found here:

IASP Website -
Suicide Prevention Day Website -

Alternatively, check out the IASP Presidents message for this years WSPD:

60 Mindful Minutes
September 7, 2020

This programme, designed by NutureUK, was put together to support children and young people within both the mainstream classroom context and nurture group setting. The key aim is to introduce and practice mindfulness, which increases children’s life skills by supporting them in developing the ability to soothe and calm themselves; to pay attention to themselves in the world and to think about and reflect upon their actions and their relationships. 

Check out more information about it here:

Please be aware that this product is not free, and does require purchase.

Guided Meditation for Children
September 3, 2020

Annaka Harris, author of the New York Times bestseller CONSCIOUS: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind (HarperCollins, June 2019), has put together a free to access and comprehensive set of mindfulness activities designed for children and young people.

They include activities for all the senses, as well as activities designed to help children "settle at the end of the day"

You can check them out here:

National Self Harm Network
August 31, 2020

'The National Self Harm Network' (NSHM) is an online forum which seeks to support individuals who self harm to reduce emotional distress and improve their quality of life, support and provide information for family and carers of individuals who self harm, raise awareness of the needs of people who self harm, dispel myths and combat discrimination, and empower and enable those that self harm to seek alternatives to self harm and further help where appropriate.

The forum provides crisis support, information and resources,
advice, discussions and distractions, is closely monitored and available 24/7.


Lego Based Therapy for Autism
August 27, 2020

LEGO®-based therapy is a social development programme for young people with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties. [It is also known as "LEGO therapy" but that term is disallowed by LEGO trademark laws]. It was originally developed by Dr. Dan LeGoff, a Paediatric Neuropsychologist in the USA. He noticed that otherwise uncommunicative children came together and started to talk when LEGO® bricks were around.

Young people work together to build LEGO® models and through this have the opportunity to develop social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication.

LEGO®-based therapy can be used individually or in groups.  Natural opportunities for developing social competence are facilitated by the therapist.

Key to this approach is how engaging and enjoyable it is for the participants! Building LEGO® collaboratively is great fun, and young people develop social skills while enjoying themselves.

You can find out more about the programme, as well as how to become an accredited trainer in the technique, on the dedicated website here:

Standing up to stigma in your school
August 24, 2020

'Time To Change' have put together a large repository of videos, blogs, posters and other downloadable and interactive resources for pupils, teachers and parents/carers to help raise awareness and tackle the issues related to stigma in school.

You can check it out here:

‘Zones of Regulation’
August 20, 2020

The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behaviour approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognise when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of four zones represented by a different colour. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students’ understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others’ facial expressions and recognise a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills.

The curriculum’s learning activities are presented in 18 lessons. To reinforce the concepts being taught, each lesson includes probing questions to discuss and instructions for one or more learning activities. Many lessons offer extension activities and ways to adapt the activity for individual student needs. The curriculum also includes worksheets, other handouts, and visuals to display and share. These can be photocopied from this book or printed from the accompanying CD or USB drive. In addition, the Zones of Regulation poster can be purchased to support these concepts in the classroom.

Website -

Our Time
August 18, 2020

'Our Time' supports and champions young people affected by parental mental illness.

They have established monthly safe-space orientated support groups for children at risk of isolation and exclusion called 'KidsTime Workshops', as well as an educational training programme, for both primary and secondary schools, designed to help teachers and staff identify young people affected by parental mental illness, and offer the support they need called 'Who Cares?'.


Responding to a death in the School Community
August 13, 2020

The Child Bereavement Network has put together this helpful list of contacts, further information and statistics to help when a member of the school community dies.

Check it out here:

7 things you shouldn’t do if you’re being bullied
August 10, 2020

Ditch The Label have created this short, helpful guide designed to support children and young people in making the correct choices when being bullied by identifying what not to do.

Check it out here:

NHS Drug Addition Help
August 6, 2020

If you need or someone around you needs treatment for drug addiction, you're entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else who has a health problem.

Check it out the NHS website for more information here:

42 Days of Summer
August 3, 2020

'The Wild Network' group has teamed up with Smart Energy GB and TV presenter, Helen Skelton, to create ‘42 Days of Summer’ - a checklist of daily activities for you to take part in, all geared around having fun whilst saving energy.

From creating a time capsule to becoming an energy-waste detective, there is a whole host of ideas to enjoy over the holidays. Download the activity sheet below and join families up and down the country in adding more #wildtime into your day.

Check out the list and download your own copy here:

Or check out 'The Wild Network' site here:

10 tips for overcoming bullying
July 31, 2020

Ditch The Label have put together a useful set of their "Top 10 tips for overcoming bullying" and its a very helpful resource for any young person currently experiencing bullying.

Check it out here:

ASK email service for Bereaved Children and Young people
July 28, 2020

Winston's Wish is a specialist bereavement charity which provides a free "Ask Email" service for children of all ages who may need support with a recent bereavement, have any questions about being bereaved, or would prefer not to talk to an adult in their immediate lives directly.

There is a simple proforma for them to complete, but they do require an email address in order to receive a reply. Children under 13 may therefore require support to fill out the form correctly.

Check it out here:

How to explain funerals to young children
July 24, 2020

Child Bereavement UK have put together a short (under 3 minutes) video designed to help parents, carers, teachers and other adults in a young child's life tackle the difficult issue of helping them understand death and funerals.

You can watch it here:


‘Clear Fear’ – A free app to help “face your fear”
July 21, 2020

Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and uses the evidence-based treatment CBT to focus on learning to reduce the physical responses to threat by learning to breathe, relax and be mindful as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and respond very well to a form of treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT.

The app can be personalised if you so wish and you will be able to track your progress and notice change.

You can check it out here:

‘Clear Harm’ – A free app to help overcome anxiety
July 17, 2020

Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

The app provides tasks to help children and young people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. Calm Harm can be made private by setting a password, and personalised in other ways. Users can track their progress and notice changes over time.

Check out the apps website here : 'Calm Harm'

And you can also check out the promotional video for the app here:

‘Combined Minds’ – A free mental health support app
July 14, 2020

Combined Minds is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, to help families and friends support young people with their mental health.

When a child or young person has a diagnosed mental health condition, families and friends want to support them in the best way but also know when to step back. Combined Minds uses a ‘Strengths-Based’ Approach which has been shown to be effective in recovery. This approach focuses on the positive attributes of the person and builds on resourcefulness and resilience.

Combined Minds helps families and friends to find ways to provide the right environment to help the individuals they support affect their own change. As important influencers in the lives of young people, this provides positive impact on their mental health.

A ‘Strengths-Based’ Approach works both ways, also helping families and friends to search for their own strengths.

You can check out the apps website here: 'Combined Minds'

You can also check out the apps explanation/promotional video here:

The NHS Apps Library
July 9, 2020

The NHS has put together a long and extensive list of helpful paid-for and free apps that are available to help members of the public with any aspect of their physical or mental health.

There is a wide-range of apps that are listed which can help with mental health specifically, with the website allowing users to filter by the area of health they are looking for support with. Users can also filter the list by price, searching for specifically free or paid-for options.

Click the link below to visit the NHS Apps Library with the mental health filter pre-loaded:

NHS Apps Library - Mental Health

‘My Back to School Bubble’
July 7, 2020

‘My Back to School Bubble’ is a new e-book which aims to help children understand the new protective measures that may be in place at their school, in an age-appropriate way.

It reinforces public health messages including the importance of hand and respiratory hygiene, while reassuring children that everyone makes mistakes, helping to combat feelings of anxiety, that have been reported by parents.

The published story is available as a free download and can be found alongside other COVID-19 resources on the e-Bug website which you can access here: 'My Back To School Bubble'

Natasha Devon MBE
July 2, 2020

Natasha Devon MBE is is a writer & activist who tours schools, colleges, universities and events throughout the world, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality. She campaigns both on and offline to make the world a fairer place, and was awarded an MBE for her efforts in the 2015 Queens Birthday honors list.

She writes regularly for a number of publications, including the Guardian and Grazia Magazine and has had columns in Cosmopolitan Magazine between 2012 and 2015 and in the TES between 2015 and 2019. Her ‘mind manual’ – ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z’ was published in May 2018 by Bluebird Books at Pan Macmillan.

Natasha also runs a popular podcast called "Staying Sane" which is styled as her "guide to staying sane in quarantine." You can check out all of the episodes of "Staying Sane":

You can also find out more about Natasha and her work at her website here:

Anna Freud – Coronavirus Mental Health Support
June 30, 2020

The children, young people and their families mental health charity Anna Freud has put together a fantastic set of support tools and resources on their website, which is very helpfully broken down into different sections:

  • Support for young people
  • Support for parents & carers
  • Support for Schools & Colleges
  • Support for early years
  • Support for mental health professionals

Each section contains a range of useful tools, including resources that are downloadable, in the form of videos, or links to other organisations.

Head over to their website to check it out now:

‘Clear Fear’ – A free app to help overcome anxiety
June 25, 2020

Clear Fear is a free app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and uses the evidence-based treatment CBT to focus on learning to reduce the physical responses to threat by learning to breathe, relax and be mindful as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions.

Clear Fear is recommended for use by children and young people in the ages of 11-19 years. Younger users can work on several of the tasks that are available with the assistance and support of a parent/carer or teacher.

It can be downloaded onto both Android or Apple IOS devices, and is reviewed and updated every three months to ensure the app is clinically valid.

You can check out the promotional video for the app from Stem4 here below, as well as the apps dedicated webpage:

YoungMinds – Coronavirus Mental Health Support
June 22, 2020

The mental health charity YoungMinds has created a useful repository of helpful information, links, blogs and other resources designed to help ensure that young people feel supported during the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The repository covers a number of topics including:

  • Support with losing a loved-one during the pandemic
  • Dealing with low mood as a result of the news coverage
  • Specific help with eating disorders during the lockdown
  • Support with anxiety and anxiety-related issues during the pandemic

You can check out the repository here:


T.I.C.T (Targeted Intervention Community Triage) – Interim Direct Referral Service
June 17, 2020

The Targeted Intervention Community Triage has been set up as an interim service to direct referrals from professionals to a range of community providers offering:

  • 1:1 targeted interventions to support children and young people across Derbyshire with low to moderate level mental health needs at this particularly difficult time.
  • 1:1 therapeutic counselling
  • 1:1 peer support sessions via multi-media platforms.

These free sessions can help children and young people who are registered with a Derbyshire GP who are experiencing depression, low mood, bereavement, stress, panic or anxiety and aims to enable them to cope better and prevent further escalation of issues.

Professionals can make a referral by completing the online referral form. An experienced therapist will contact the child or young person or parent to complete a triage assessment and make individualised recommendations and appropriate onward referrals within 3 working days.

If you need further guidance about the TICT offer and process, please contact your local CAMHS Specialist Community Adviser.

None COVID-19 related referrals can continue to be made into the Build Sound Minds service.

Head over to the Derby and Derbyshire emotional and mental wellbeing toolkit repository site here for more information -

PSHE Matters – Free resources for families of Primary age children
June 3, 2020

The below leaflets provide fun, interesting and easy to conduct activities for families to learn more about topics such as Mental Health, dealing with change, and forming positive relationships.

The leaflets were developed to enhance the PSHE Curriculum that primary schools currently deliver.  The theme of the leaflets supports the 12 different modules that feature in the resource: ‘PSHE Matters a Curriculum for Primary Schools.

You can view the online version or download a free copy of the leaflets here:


Dealing with change:

Help with emotions:

Free Seminar Series – Staff and Pupil Mental Health
June 1, 2020

The Bupa UK Foundation and the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools have launched a new seminar series for School Leaders, Senior Mental Health and Pastoral Leads which focuses on the mental wellbeing of staff, pupils and the wider community as schools re-open.

The Seminar Series will feature pre-recorded bite-sized seminars, action planning templates, resources and FAQs with a focus on:

Staff mental health:

  • Supporting staff to feel ready to ‘return’ – This seminar explores the important questions to ask staff, coaching tips for conversations about how people are feeling and how best to communicate with your team.  It will also share resources your staff can use to help support students
  • Responding to staff needs – This seminar looks at the different ways you can respond to your staff’s needs as this transition period continues and gives a three-step action plan for your longer term support strategy.
  • Adjusting to a changed school/college - This seminar explores what a leader can do to support staff with change. It’s based on psychological theory of change and has clear take-aways you can implement and share with your SLT.

Pupil mental health:

  • Preparing to welcome students back - This seminar explores the core purpose and main activities of the school and college following the lockdown and how these might change with an ongoing pandemic which is likely to last for several months. The webinar covers evidence-informed strategies which can adapted to help reduce further harm, assist with recovery and promote safeguarding across the whole school community. 
  • Welcoming the students back... the first few weeks – This seminar explores the choices faced by schools and colleges for their the first few weeks when pupils start to return. It looks at some of the practical but highly effective strategies schools and colleges can use to support pupils as they reintegrate into school and college life.
  • Supporting vulnerable pupils and those in transition - This seminar draws on emerging evidence that will help school leaders develop strategies to support a potentially growing number of vulnerable students. It also explores some of the more prevalent mental health needs and the disruption to transition caused by the crisis. 

If you are a School Leader / School Mental Health Lead / Pastoral Leader please register here using your school email address and sending your name, organisation name and local authority.  

We look forward to welcoming you to our seminar series.

Posted on behalf of Bupa UK Foundation and the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools

#Mentalhealthawarenessweek – Virtual Get Togethers and Fun!
May 22, 2020

Don't forget that this week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek with a theme of #Kindness. Over the weekend don't forget to try this handy list of fun ideas for virtual fundraising and get togethers from the Mental Health Foundation who sponsor and run the week itself:

#Mentalhealthawarenessweek – Kindness
May 20, 2020

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme this year is kindness, focusing on kindness to others, kindness to yourself, and helping spread kindness wherever we can. The Mental Health Foundation have put together this fantastic video explaining why they've chosen it:

#Mentalhealthawarenessweek – 18-24th May
May 18, 2020

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. We believe that mental health is everyone’s business. So, for one week each May, the Mental Health Foundation campaign around a specific theme for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

They've done so each year since 2001.

The theme this year is kindness, with millions of people engaging in the campaign each time.

If you would like to read more or have a look at the long list of campaign and fundraising ideas that can support this campaign, you can do so here:

A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic.

'Evidence for Learning' has published a 'Think Piece' co-authored by Professor Barry Carpenter (Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University, UK) and Matthew Carpenter (Principal, Baxter College, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, UK) regarding what they term as the 'Recovery Curriculum' for when children in the UK return and re-enter schools.

You can check it out here:

‘Ruby’s Worry: A Big Bright Feelings Book’
May 15, 2020

Ruby's Worry: A Big Bright Feelings Book is a perceptive and poignant story that is a must-have for all children's bookshelves. From Tom Percival's bestselling Big Bright Feelings series, this is the perfect book for discussing childhood worries and anxieties, no matter how big or small they may be. With rave reviews, this book can be the perfect springboard for talking to children about sharing their hidden worries.

You can read more about the book or purchase a copy here:

Change4life – Sports and Activities
May 12, 2020

Change4life has put together this fantastic repository of resources, information and ideas designed to help Children and Young People stay active.

This includes a long list of potential organised sports with information on how to get started at them.

Check it out here:

P.E with Joe
May 6, 2020

'P.E with Joe' is an online, YouTube-based, exercise tool designed by the British Fitness Coach Joe Wicks in order to help children across the UK stay fit and active during the period of the COVID-19 School closures.

There are now over 10 hours of content (comprised of 10-30 minute individual videos) available for use online for FREE, and they were designed specifically for Children and Young People of all ages.

You can check the full back catalog of videos on Joe's YouTube channel here:

You can also watch the initial announcement video here:

‘A Terrible Thing Happened’
April 24, 2020

Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but soon something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous for no reason. Sometimes his stomach hurt. He had bad dreams. And he started to feel angry and do mean things, which got him in trouble. Then he met Ms. Maple, who helped him talk about the terrible thing that he had tried to forget. Now Sherman is feeling much better.

'A Terrible Thing Happened' is a powerful children’s book for little ones who have witness traumatic event, whether it was abuse, bullying, natural disasters, suicides, etc. It also provides you, the adult, with ways to help traumatized children overcome these dark days.

If you would like to read more about the book or purchase a copy you can do so here -

‘The Teenage Guide to Stress’
April 17, 2020

'The Teenage Guide to Stress' - written for teenagers but essential for adults who want to understand - tackles all the external stresses that teenagers face, including feelings of anger, sadness (and depression), fear and failure; issues caused by changing bodies, body hatred, weight problems, eating disorders and self-harm; pressures of exams and schoolwork; sleep problems; changing relationships with friends and family; boyfriend/girlfriend issues and sexual pressures; bullying and cyber-bullying; problems arising from the internet; and looks at how pre-existing conditions such as OCD and dyslexia may be affected by adolescence. As well as a sympathetic, practical and positive look at all those stresses, The Teenage Guide to Stress clearly explains the biology behind stress and, crucially, a huge range of strategies and suggestions to deal with it and prevent negative symptoms. A list of useful resources completes this fantastically wide-ranging, reassuring, eye-opening and comprehensive guide for young people, empowering them to take control of their mental health.

If you would like to read more or buy a copy you can do so here -

‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’
April 3, 2020

Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life - which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

The Guardian review for the book opens with "This book was fantastic. Anyone dealing with any kind of mental illness needs to read this."

If you would like to read more or purchase a copy you can do so here -  

‘The Very Cranky Bear’
March 27, 2020

'The Very Cranky Bear' is about helping other’s cheer up when they’re not feeling so happy. Not only does it teach children and young people about being unhappy but it also teaches them about helping others who are struggling.

In the Jingle, jangle jungle, four friends encounter a very cranky bear. Moose, Lion and Zebra all think they know how to cheer him up, but it's plain, boring Sheep who has the answer. This is a hilarious picture book, with the over-riding message being: Don't underestimate the quiet ones! Sometime a little thought is all you need to solve a problem instead of rushing to immediate action.

If you would like to read more about 'The Very Cranky Bear' or purchase a copy, you can do so here -

P.E with Joe – The Body Coach TV
March 25, 2020

Fitness coach, Joe Wicks, has offered to become the UK's PE teacher by running free classes every weekday for children and their parents to keep fit while self-isolating. The trainer was due to start a school tour to promote fitness and healthy living this week, but the COVID-19 outbreak changed those plans when schools were told to close.

Joe's YouTube channel currently has a couple of episodes dating back to Monday 23rd of March, and promises to keep uploading new 30-minute 9AM workouts for the foreseeable future.

Check out this article from the BBC with more info:

Check out Joe's YouTube channel here:


‘Be Kind’
March 20, 2020

'Be Kind', written by the award winning author Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill, is a moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference - or at least help a friend.

If you would like to learn more about the book you can do so here -

March 13, 2020

Mosquitoland is a challenging but thoughtful and often funny story about it's main character Mim and her road trip across the USA to visit her sick mother. Along the way the journey takes a few unforeseen turns and she meets a cast of fellow travelers, all of which help to redefine her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Dealing with questions of family, defying stereotypes, the nature of psychology and more, 'Mosquitoland' is a suitable book for any teenager.

If you would like to find out more about 'Mosquitoland' you can do so here - and you can purchase a copy here -

Derby Opportunity Area – The Good News Blog
March 6, 2020

This week the site and (more importantly) some fantastic Derby Schools were showcased by the Derby Opportunity Area's 'Good News Blog'.

The blog post contains two brilliant case studies - one from Asterdale Primary School and the other from Allestree Woodlands - check out the amazing things they're up to here -

‘A Volcano in my Tummy: Helping Children to Handle Anger’
February 28, 2020

'A Volcano in my Tummy' presents a clear and effective approach to helping children and adults alike understand and deal constructively with children's anger. Using easy to understand yet rarely taught skills for anger management, including how to teach communication of emotions, 'A Volcano in My Tummy 'offers engaging, well-organised activities which help to overcome the fear of children's anger which many adult care-givers experience. By carefully distinguishing between anger the feeling, and violence the behavior, this accessible little book, primarily created for ages 6 to thirteen, helps to create an awareness of anger, enabling children to relate creatively and harmoniously at critical stages in their development.

Through activities, stories, articles, and games designed to allow a multi-subject, developmental approach to the topic at home and in school, A Volcano in My Tummy gives us the tools we need to put aside our problems with this all-too-often destructive emotion, 

If you would like to find out more or purchase a copy of the book you can do here -

‘Lucy’s Blue Day’
February 21, 2020

Lucy is a very special little girl with magical hair.  It changes colour with her emotions.  If she is feeling happy, it is purple.  If she is jealous, it will turn green.  This charming story is the tale of when Lucy wakes up and her hair is blue, and she doesn't understand why.  She soon learns that it is OK to not be OK.

With overwhelmingly positive reviews from celebrities and personalities such as Stephen Fry and Lorraine Kelly, 'Lucy's Blue Day' is a fantastic story for helping children and young people to understand their emotions.

If you want to find out more about the story, you can do so here -

‘All the Bright Places’
February 14, 2020

Described as "a heart-rending, stylish love story" that deals with issues of "depression, bereavement and relationships", 'All the Bright Place' is a highly recommended New York Times #1 Bestseller Young Adult novel from the award-winning author Jennifer Niven. The story follows main characters Theodore Finch and Violet Markey on their "impressively layered, lived-in and real" journey of discovery.

If you would like to find out more about the novel, you can do so here -

#Childrensmentalhealthweek – Redwood Primary School
February 8, 2020

As it's Children's Mental Health Week this week we asked our fantastic Derby City Schools what they're getting up to so we can shine a spotlight on some of the great work in the city. Today we're shining that light on:

Redwood Primary School

The staff at redwood have spent this children's mental health week focusing getting the whole school and all it's pupils to think about mindfulness and mindfulness strategies.

During the week "Relax Kids" (a derby based external agency which you can find more out about here) are coming into Redwood to teach the children some simple to learn but highly effective peer-to-peer massage techniques.

Across the week the pupils at redwood will be also be looking at breathing and how and where we all breathe from, making use of the pupils teddy bears/cuddly toys as a helpful aid.

#Childrensmentalthealthweeek – Rosehill Infants and Nursery School
February 7, 2020

As it's Children's Mental Health Week this week we asked our fantastic Derby City Schools what they're getting up to so we can shine a spotlight on some of the great work in the city. Today we're shining that light on:

Rosehill Infants and Nursery School

Rosehill Infants and Nursery school have had an active and exciting Children's Mental Health Week with staff mixing in a range of activities to the schools daily routine to help their pupils find their brave including thought-exercises, sports, food nutrition and arts and crafts. Each of the planned events not only benefits the pupils, but they also link directly into the schools long-term action for mental health and wellbeing.

At the start of each day across the week pupils at Rosehill have been treated to a 'wake up and shake up' activity to get them smiling and motivated.

This has been followed up with different activities each day, including 'Funtrition' (provided by the school's sports provider 'Premier Sports'), which aims to inspire children, parents, teachers, friends and families to make healthy lifestyle choices, through a series of interactive, practical, fun and thought provoking lessons.

Rosehill pupils proudly displaying their fantastic 'Funtrition' posters

These lessons are based around the main principles of keeping healthy – eating well, drinking well, moving well and sleeping well.

A proud and smiling Rosehill student holds their finished 'emotion potion'.

Pupils have also had the opportunity to make 'emotions potions' where they mix water, colored glitter and glue in a bottle to symbolize and start an active teacher-led debate about the different emotions we all feel and how they can effect us.

Rosehill have also chosen Children's mental health week as the ideal time of year to launch their new 'Playground Friend' role which has been spearheaded by the pupils themselves through the school council.

#Childrensmentalhealthweek – Royal School for the Deaf Derby
February 6, 2020

As it's Children's Mental Health Week this week we asked our fantastic Derby City Schools what they're getting up to so we can shine a spotlight on some of the great work in the city. Today we're shining that light on:

Royal School for the Deaf Derby

The staff at the Royal School for the Deaf Derby have planned a week's calendar of fun and thoughtful events to help their students find their brave!

This includes Tuesday's 'Find your Brave' assembly led by the schools safeguarding and wellbeing lead and a series of mindfulness activities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday break-times led by the schools team of student 'Anti-Stigma Ambassadors' in the art room.

The staff are also planning to take full advantage of the free resources 'Place2Be' (the organizers of Children's Mental Health Week) offers, asking their secondary and post-16 tutors to guide the students through a daily 'find your brave' activity to really get them thinking.

Primary age students will be able to make the most of the wide range of fun activities across the week, culminating in Friday's special assembly just for them.

Topping off the week there will also be a whole school non-uniform day on Friday with £1 voluntary donations going straight to Place2be to help support the charity to continue its work.

#Childrensmentalhealthweek – Ivy House School
February 5, 2020

As it's Children's Mental Health Week this week we asked our fantastic Derby City Schools what they're getting up to so we can shine a spotlight on some of the great work in the city. Today we're shining that light on:


The staff at Ivy House have put together a raft of exciting activities and experiences for it's pupils this Children's Mental Health Week all in aid of helping them to find their Brave.

This includes a wide range of arts and crafts and play-based exercises, including things like 'Sound Bath Therapy', 'Reflexology', 'Sensory Stories', a 'beauty spa' and a trip to the schools Sensory Room for the Cinema. On Thursday they're also planning a wonderful sounding 'Mindfulness Walk' (weather permitting!) for the pupils who will no doubt have a great time learning and playing with the sensory nature toys.

Topping off the week is Friday's 'Bravery Celebration' in the school hall which is being paired with a 'Disco Party' after for all pupils. In the 'Bravery Celebration' event one child from each class will be presented with a 'Bravery Award' and certificate in recognition of their finding their brave!

‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’
January 31, 2020

'The Rest of Us Just Live Here' is described as a " bold and irreverent" novel for young adults that "powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable".

Written by Patrick Ness, the novel asks readers to consider - What if you aren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

If you'd like to find out more about the book you can do so here -

‘Lost and Found’
January 17, 2020

'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers is a thoroughly charming children's book about what happens when a young boy finds a wayward penguin outside of his front door.

Winner of the Nestle Smarties Book Prize (2005) and the Blue Peter Book Award (2006), 'Lost and Found' seeks to convey lessons of friendship, inclusivity and the importance of forming connections with other human-beings.

If you would like to find out more about the book you can do so here - - and if you like to grab a copy you can do here -

‘Blue Chameleon’
January 10, 2020

With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations 'Blue Chameleon' is an introduction to colours and shapes (and chameleons!) which is sure to delight everyone, from the youngest child upwards.

Written by multiple award winning author Emily Gravett, 'Blue Chameleon' contains a subtle humor and tone which will help anyone that reads it conceptualise themes of inclusivity and self-confidence.

If you would like to find out more information about the book you can do so here - - if you would like to purchase a copy you can do so here -

‘My Hidden Chimp’
December 20, 2019

My Hidden Chimp, by consultant Psychiatrist Professor Steve Peters, is an educational book for children to work through with an adult or by themselves. The book offers parents, teachers and carers some ideas and thoughts on how to help children to develop healthy habits for life. 

It features easy to follow explanations and simple strategies to help children understand how their mind works. With ten habits to put into practice, such as smiling, saying sorry and talking about your feelings, children can work on managing their behaviour and emotions and understand why they sometimes behave and feel the way they do. 

The science behind the habits is discussed in a practical way with exercises and activities. The neuroscience of the mind is simplified for children to understand and then use to their advantage.

If you want to find more information about 'My Hidden Chimp' you can do so here - - and you can buy a copy of the book here -

Raising Resilient Children
December 13, 2019

Resilience is the ability to overcome serious hardship and to ‘bounce back’ from adversity. Factors that support resilience include personal skills, positive relationships, community support and cultural connections.

Actions to increase resilience can be targeted at different levels – they can aim to increase achievements of pupils; to support them through transitions and encourage healthy behaviors; to promote better interpersonal relationships between people – particularly parents or carers and children; and to create more supportive, cohesive schools that support both pupils and the wider community

There are a range of books for parents, carers and other people involved in the lives of children and young people designed to support and provide guidance on how to ensure resilience in children and young people.

You can take a look at a couple of those here:

Coulson, Justin, 9 Ways to a Resilient Child (2019) -

Carr-Greg, Michael & Witt, Sharon, Raising Resilient Kids (2018) -

Brooks, Robert & Goldstein, Sam, Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child (2002) -

The Whole School Approach at St Martins
December 11, 2019

On Tuesday 19th November we visited St Martins specialist school in Alvaston, Derby to see how the school has fully embraced and embedded a whole school approach to its young people's Emotional and Mental Health.

The first thing that is apparent when visiting St Martins and speaking to the staff for the first time is the absolute passion they have for their young people's emotional and mental wellbeing. Throughout the visit it became clear that creating a supportive environment for their young people's emotional and mental wellbeing sits closely allied to providing a meaningful and quality education. Crucially, and as was emphasised to us by our tour guide, the schools DSLMH Emma Banks, the two sit in parallel with each other occupying equal states of importance in the culture of the school. After all, as Emma says, "young people can't learn when they're in a bad place emotionally."

St Martins has embedded the emotional and mental wellbeing culture through the application of mechanisms and support into all aspects of school life - from the governance and leadership structures, the mindset of the teaching staff, the structure of the timetable, the approach to teaching and the curriculum itself and even to the design and layout of the walls and noticeboards.

In particular, the use of parallel governance and leadership structures that have a specific remit of mental health and wellbeing across the school seems vital. Having a group of Governors and Assistant Headteacher Laura Crawford to strategically lead wellbeing across the school ensures inclusion of emotional and mental wellbeing and embeds it in the strategy of the school. The pupils themselves are then integrated into the system through a well-being committee which is a part of the student council structure, which itself links directly to the Governors.

This is then reinforced and anchored in the day-to-day actions of the school by Emma's team of wellbeing support staff who (alongside other things) operate a simple but effective system of pupil and staff referrals for extra support. Any teacher can refer a pupil or a pupil can refer themselves, and once their needs are assessed by the team, they will unlock a myriad of individualised and bespoke interventions to support that young person.

These interventions can range from a simple 1-to-1 conversation to an individualised timetable for that particular young person. Importantly, these interventions aren't necessarily off-the-shelf solutions brought in from external organisations - they are most often designed as specific, bespoke and individual solutions to the needs of that young person.

Emma recognised that by no means was the system St Martins have implemented perfect or easy at times - in the past it had over-relied on individual members of staff and suffered as a result of those staff taking time away. There had also been some issues regarding teacher buy-in and a contention around taking a young person out of classes, particularly on a regular basis. However, after three successive 'Outstanding' ratings by Ofsted and a larger wellbeing staff team the results clearly speak for themselves.

If you have any direct questions for Emma or if you would like to discuss any of the details above in further depth, don't hesitate to send her an email at - You can also contact Laura Crawford, St Martins Assistant Headteacher, SENCO and Designated Safeguarding Lead at -

‘The Big Book Of Blobs’
December 6, 2019

The Big Book of Blobs, written by Pip Wilson and Ian Long, is a useful (and highly photocopiable(!)) tool for helping Primary and Secondary school children to explore their feelings.

Blob characters are depicted in many different situations which can be used as a springboard for meaningful discussion on a range of issues and topics. The Blobs are often organised into themes of places, issues, occasions and personal development, and include scenarios such as the beach, cinema, city, concert, home, playground, bullying, death, fame, money, parents, romance, sleep, Christmas, Easter, Olympics, body, caring and feelings.

'The Big Book of Blobs' is used regularly at Redwood Primary School by Sue Smith, a learning mentor, who has found it very useful in helping pupils who otherwise struggle to express their feelings open up. The blobs are most useful when used in the initial stages of a conversation or intervention with a pupil, and can help to identify and stimulate a discussion around what that pupil is feeling.

If you would like to purchase 'The Big Book of Blobs' you can do here -

Please Note: There are differently age appropriate Blobs, whereby some may be seen doing things which you may not consider appropriate, (such as carrying or shooting guns), so make sure to look over the blobs before using them!

PASS Survey at CODA
November 25, 2019

Mr. R Meehan, Assistant Head at the City of Derby Academy (CODA), talked to the Emotionally Health Schools team about the implementation, benefits and practicalities of using the PASS survey at the School for the first time.

CODA has over the last academic year implemented the PASS survey as a part of a larger suite of GL assessments to help "measure aspects of life at school that weren't otherwise measured". Targeted specifically at years 7 - 10 to avoid disruption to year 11 exams, students were given up to 20 minutes to fill in the survey one form-group at a time after being briefed by their teacher about the survey's purpose. Mr Meehan indicated that the cost of the survey had been covered by the Pupil Premium funding received by the School.

The results of the survey are broken down into multiple levels across a number of different demographics such as school year, gender and nationality and are then graded through a traffic light system. Once completed, the results were then shared with all staff at CODA, not just teaching staff. Mr Meehan emphasized that he felt it was important for all staff to see the schools position to really embed a whole school approach and awareness to its pupil's mental and emotional health.

The results of the survey allowed CODA to see both the areas of strength and the areas of improvement across the entire picture of the school, with most of the results coming out as Green highlighting the good work undertaken by the school already. The survey was then embedded with existing support structures in the school - those pupils who came out Amber were passed to CODA's pupil-led 'Wellbeing Ambassador' team, and those that came out as Red were passed to the schools 'Pastoral team' for 1-to-1 interventions.

While it was useful for CODA to see the breakdown in that way, Mr Meehan warned schools to consider the total numbers of students in any given group before acting. If there are only a handful of students in a given category, can the results in that category be considered as statistically significant? Mr Meehan indicated that where an issue was identified in a smaller cohort by the survey, individual results were given greater weight to gain a fuller understanding.

When asked what he felt the limitations to the survey were, Mr Meehan outlined firstly that there was no indication in the results of how long pupils had taken to fill in the survey. Mr Meehan questioned the accuracy of the answers given by a pupil that may rushed through and completed the survey in 5 or so minutes, although because of this missing information it was impossible to tell. Mr Meehan also raised an issue regarding pupil comprehension of the survey questions, although this was mitigated by a clear and concise briefing by the form-tutor at the start of the exercise.

When asked if he would recommend the survey to other schools in Derby City that might be considering it, Mr Meehan indicated that it is a useful tool, it was worth doing but any school that is considering it should do so more than once in order to see the 'distance traveled' and improvements year-to-year.

The Pass Survey is appropriate for use in both Primary and Secondary schools, If you would like to read more about the Pass Survey, click here.

‘Pansy Boy’
November 14, 2019

Pansy Boy is a picture book written and illustrated by artist Paul Harfleet. Rhyming couplets tell the story of a boy who revels in the joys of summer, exploring the flora and fauna around him. Reluctantly he returns to school where he is subjected to incessant bullying. Intelligent and bright, he is driven to create a plan to reclaim his school.

Pansy Boy is a creative extension of Paul Harfleet’s ongoing artwork, The Pansy Project. The artist has been planting pansies at the site of homophobia since 2005 and it is this revelation that ends Pansy Boy, bringing the concept into the real world.

The author wrote Pansy Boy for his seven year old self. Designed to offer children of all ages an alternative version of childhood that transcends stereotype. Equally the book is an educational device that celebrates art, ornithology, horticulture and is a tool to help discuss playground bullying and burgeoning sexual identity.

Published by Barbican Press and available on Amazon and in bookstores from summer 2017 for more on Barbican Press.

Mental Health First Aid Training Available
November 5, 2019

Derbyshire County Council have launched new training dates to increase awareness, knowledge and skills across Derbyshire.

There are two Mental Health First Aid courses available, one for supporting adults and one for supporting young people. Youth courses are available free of charge, with Adult courses available at a subsidised rate for Derby City Schools.

You can find more information about the range of courses here or get in touch with us using the contact us page.

Time To Change – ‘In Your Corner’ – Free Assembly Resources
November 4, 2019

The national mental health organisation 'Time To Change' (run by 'Mind') has launched its November campaign "In Your Corner", which comes with a raft of free assembly plans and videos for schools. Over 700 schools are already taking part.

You can register for the resources here

IN FOCUS: Every Mind Matters – Your Mind Plan
October 25, 2019

Every Mind Matters is a major Public Health England Campaign, launched early October 2019, which aims to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing by promoting a range of self-care actions such as the "Your Mind Plan" Tool.

The "Your Mind Plan" was designed as a part of the Public Health England 'Every Mind Matters' campaign specifically to quickly and simply point people over the age of 18 in the right direction - both to reflecting on their own mental and emotional health, as well as giving them handy top-tips for actions that be taken.

So if you're a teacher, parent, carer, or anyone in the community who feels like you might need a bit of a helping hand with maintaining or improving your mental health and wellbeing, why not try the "Your Mind Plan" tool here.


Second Meeting of the Mental Health Network
October 17, 2019

On World Mental Health day, Thursday 10th October, Derby held its second event for the Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health (DSLMH) network at Pride Park Stadium. It was attended by over half of Derby Schools alongside professionals from both local health services and exciting new Children and Young People’s mental health initiatives.

You can find the news article here

The Queen’s Speech
October 14, 2019

On Monday 14th October, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivered the 65th Queen's Speech of her reign setting out the current Government's plans for this Parliament - which included a renewal of the pledge to improve mental health.

Any state occasion is worth noting, but the Queens Speech is a particularly important event in the national calendar. Not only does it form a crucial part of the State Opening of Parliament, it also sets out the legislative agenda for the incumbent Government (despite only usually lasting about 10 minutes).

While most of the focus will undoubtedly be on the Brexit elements of the speech, there was a brief line which will directly impact on mental health provision and care in the UK - "New laws will be taken forward to help implement the National Health Service's Long Term Plan in England."

The BBC has concluded that this statement will not only engender a renewed commitment to the plan originally unveiled under Theresa May's premiership, but that it also includes a raft of new legislation to continue improvements to mental health care and improving patient safety.


Next Thursday is World Mental Health Day!
October 6, 2019

Next week, Thursday 10th October, is World Mental Health Day. This is the 27th consecutive year that it has been recognised worldwide, and the 22nd year to carry a dedicated theme. This year's theme is Suicide Prevention.

Since it was first recognised on 10th October 1992, hundreds of worldwide, nationwide, regional and local organisations, communities and individuals have been, in a variety of interesting and innovative ways, raising awareness and support of mental health and Mental Health Issues right across the world in over 100 countries.

With themes ranging from 'Mental Health and Human Rights (1998)' to "Living with Schizophrenia (2014)" World Mental Health day has looked to address a wide range of topics.

This year's theme is Suicide Prevention and the World Mental Health Federation have put together a pack of helpful "Tools and Tips" which you can find here -

If you want to go even further, check out the social media to get involved:

Twitter - @WMHDay
Facebook - @WMHDay1

Don't Forget - Last year's theme for World Mental Health Day was "Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World". Check out the information pack here -


The Fantastic 107
September 30, 2019

As of Thursday 26th September, 107 Derby City Schools have started training for a 'Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health' (DSLMH) within their staff team.

On Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th September 64 staff members from 62 Derby City schools undertook the first of two days of training required to become recognised as a DSLMH, bringing the overall number to 107 across the city. Representing a wide range of school providers, including the Virtual School and a number of special schools, staff were put through their paces by their trainer from the Carnegie School for Education, University of Leeds.

Staff completed a range of activities and exercises intended to get them thinking about the mental and emotional health provision in their schools, with a particular focus on how to embed a "whole school approach". DSLMH's will be asked to complete a mental and emotional health action plan for their school after the second day of training in January.

38 schools now have a fully trained DSLMH
July 16, 2019

We have now concluded training for the first wave of schools in Derby to take part in the Emotionally Healthy Schools Programme.

Congratulations to the 38 new Designated Senior Leads for Mental Health to have fully completed the training and are now ready to lead the way for their schools.

For more information about the training, please get in contact.

Schools Mental Health Network meets for first time
May 15, 2019

On Tuesday 14th May, Derby held its first Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health (DSLMH) Network Event at the Derby Conference Centre. It was attended by 65 Derby schools alongside professionals from local mental health services including the NHS and Public Health.

It was an important event to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and also the progress made by Derby’s schools to date following investment from the Derby Opportunity Area Programme.

Read the full article here.

Mental health champions to be created for pupils in all Derby school
March 12, 2019

Head teachers across Derby have identified pupil emotional health as one of their prime concerns and barriers to success  - so new mental health leaders will be appointed for every city school. Redwood Primary School is leading the project...

Read full article here.

Emotionally Healthy schools project launched at beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week
February 5, 2019

This month sees the launch of the Emotionally Healthy schools project in Derby. This £598,000 Opportunity Area funded project, which is being managed by Redwood Primary School, Executive Headteacher Jane Calladine, is designed to help school leaders in Derby improve outcomes for Derby pupils by helping to create supportive environments, policies and practices that are conducive to positive emotional well-being...

Read the full article here.

‘You are Awesome’
January 24, 2019

'You are Awesome' is the positive and empowering guide to help children and young adults build resilience, fulfill their potential and become successful, happy, awesome adults, from Times journalist, two-time Olympian and best-selling mindset author, Matthew Syed.

The pages of 'You are Awesome' contain a range questions, statements and tasks which challenge and problematise a wide range of commonly held assumptions and confidence-related issues concerning subjects such as Math and Sports. Interestingly, Syed also tackles how celebrities such as David Beckham and historical figures such as the Bronte Sisters and Mozart became successful.

The result is a book which has the potential to attract a wide range of children and young people as readers, something which is refinforced by the wide array of positive reviews from children and parents alike.

If you're interested in finding out more information about the book, you can do so here - - and you can follow this link to purchase the book here -

Council to award grant for emotionally healthy schools
September 10, 2018

Derby City Council are to award a grant of £596,000 to Redwood Primary School to lead and co-ordinate a programme across the city to develop emotionally healthy schools with the money coming from the government backed Opportunity Area programme grant...

Read full news article here.