Kiayah, a primary tutor in Manchester who started with us in March, provides her insight into what mental health awareness training has been available to her since working with us. 

Having just graduated with a degree in Psychology, I applied to work with Tutor Trust as it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work with children who needed support through the provision of high-quality tuition. It certainly didn't disappoint! 

As an aspiring Educational Psychologist, mental health awareness for children is particularly important to me. I have been very grateful to train with Tutor Trustas doing so has truly highlighted the many difficulties children face throughout their education, and how we as tutors can be aware of this and provide support for them.  

I am thankful for the in-depth training provided, particularly with AP/LAC tuition, as it gave me the opportunity to learn about children's mental health, discuss our perspectives on it, and share our knowledge. An example of the special information we learnt was Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), which can leave children with feelings of low self-esteem. We learned how, as tutors, there are certain techniques and values we can use to help these children in a learning environment.  

The Top 5 tips for me, were: 

1) Be reliable and consistent - vulnerable children can find it difficult to form relationships, so we must always try to be a professional that they can rely on.  

2) Do not lower your expectations - aim high for and with these pupils, as you would any other, to encourage their progress.  

3) Remain professional and observant - our detailed safeguarding training taught us the importance of what to be aware of, and how to handle sensitive situations should they arise. 

4) Enjoy yourself - again, vulnerable pupils are still pupils, and the chance to provide them with tuition is an excellent one, so enjoy it in the moment and stay present.  

5) Don't be afraid to ask for help - one of my favourite things about working with Tutor Trust is their encouragement towards asking for help if we need it. It has been such a supportive environment right from the interview stage.  

  

The training also takes into account the mental health and well-being of staff and students, not just in AP/LAC training, but in all aspects of working with Tutor Trust. Throughout the summer, tutors have been provided an excellent opportunity to complete Place2Be's “Mental Health Champions – Foundation programme course online. This has given us the chance to gain an insight into different aspects of mental health in an engaging and clear manner. I particularly liked that the programme emphasised the importance of looking after our own mental health as tutors, as this will also affect the wellbeing of our students.  

I hope that this gives insight into the mental health awareness existing within the Tutor Trust. It has been a truly testing time for everyone in the world recently, but I hope we can all follow this year's Mental Health Awareness Week theme of Kindness in some way, big or small, as it can truly make a difference.