Children’s Mental Health Week - independent schools

07 February 2023

Ecclesiastical supports independent schools with training to manage pupils’ mental health.

Specialist education insurer Ecclesiastical has announced further funding for independent schools to help them manage pupils’ mental wellbeing.

Following a successful training programme last year, the insurer is funding a further 32 independent schools from across the UK to have free Youth Mental Health First Aid and Suicide First Aid training.

The mental health of pupils is a huge challenge for teachers and staff to manage and Children’s Mental Health Week1 which takes place from 6-12 February 2023 is helping to shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting children’s wellbeing.

Previous research2 by Ecclesiastical has shown an increase in pupil mental health issues year on year and independent schools have witnessed an increase in pupil anxiety (38%), stress (36%) and depression (35%) since the pandemic.

The research also revealed that despite the majority (98%) of independent schools providing mental health support for pupils, one in six (16%) independent school teachers reported feeling poorly equipped to support pupils with mental health issues.

Funded by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical and delivered in partnership with Mental Health in Business, last year 32 independent schools learnt practical skills to spot the signs of mental health issues and how to support young people in distress. Now, a further 32 independent schools will benefit from the training in 2023.

Ecclesiastical will also be funding two expert webinars on how to minimise self-harm risk factors, and how to increase resilience in young people, to help support the independent school sector.

Faith Kitchen, Customer Segment Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As one of the leading insurers of schools in the UK, Ecclesiastical is passionate about supporting the education sector. Independent schools have seen an increase in pupil anxiety, stress and depression since the pandemic and the mental health of pupils is a key risk for teachers and staff to manage. We’re delighted to have partnered with Mental Health in Business to help support independent schools with managing pupil mental health effectively.”

Ecclesiastical and Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards has also recently given £10,000 to Happy Space, a children’s mental health charity which provides bespoke wellbeing resources to schools.

Ecclesiastical Insurance offers a range of risk management support and guidance to help schools manage the risks they face.

1 Children's Mental Health Week

2 The survey was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by OnePoll with 500 UK professionals in schools and sixth forms from 1 – 19 October 2021. 117 were from independent schools.