The Tutor Trust were delighted to have the opportunity to hold a special CPD event in partnership with the mental health charity Place2Be. Place2Be specialise in raising awareness of mental health in school environments and supported our tutors at a workshop, offering them advice in how to understand and support pupils who may have mental health issues.

The workshop was led by Place2Be trainer James and took place last Thursday afternoon on the campus of the University of Manchester. The tutors who attended were given a guide to the impact that mental health has on school children and how tutors can assist pupils to achieve better mental health.

During the CPD, James offered lots of information and incorporated a variety of activities, which included: statistics on mental health and the increasing need to talk about it in general, but especially in schools; defining ‘resilience’ and discussing the significance it has for school pupils; practicing mindfulness exercises and psychoeducation; and sharing personal experience of mental health through creative expression.

Tutors were invited to annotate a paper figure with the possible emotions a school pupil might experience. A few tutors gave examples from their own experiences and did a great job of collaborating on tasks and contributing to the session.

We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the attendees. One tutor said they enjoyed the CPD for “helping us, the tutors, to take control of our mental health so we’d therefore be able to help students.” Another said that James was “very engaging, made the session interactive” and “creatively presented with activities that everyone could get involved in.”

We spoke to English tutor Amanda after the event, who also had this to say:

“As rates of mental illness rise in young people, it's becoming increasingly important for us tutors to be able to support pupils' mental health and our own. I appreciated the session's focus that everybody has mental health and that our emotions affect our behaviours. Understanding this can help us to be more patient and compassionate with our students, and with ourselves."

The CPD was an immense success and we want to thank everyone who helped us to make it work: the University of Manchester for providing facilities; the tutors for their enthusiastic participation; Place2Be for all their useful content; and of course James for delivering it.