SMILE Youth Mental Health in Schools

SMILE - Supporting Minds in a Learning Environment

Richard was the project manager of a government pathfinder project called TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health in Schools) and created the SMILE programme to support young people in their emotional well-being and mental health. The programme ran for 5 years and included the work delivered by the award winning social enterprise Inspired Life CIC(Richard was the co founder).

The programme was tasked with delivering 3 core objectives with a joint board led by Richard with school head teachers and leads, local authority officers and mental health professionals. The 3 core objectives around mental health and emotional well-being for young people were:

  • Raising Awareness and Removing Stigma for Mental Health
  • Building Capacity within the Schools to Support and 'Hold' Children in the School System
  • Direct Services and Interventions including Counseling, Inspired Life Well-being Programmes (strength based) and Staff Supervision

During the programme delivery the following initiatives, resources and support services were developed by Richard and the wider team

Raising Awareness and Removing Stigma for Mental Health

  • Development of a stand alone website with significant advice, infomation and guidance (no longer operational)
  • Animations (animated chartacters and short episodes) for a wide range of topics including depression, self-harm, eating disorders, low self esteem, anxiety etc
  • Comic Strip information cards covering useful information, guidance and signposting to other services (designed for areas of low literacy)
  • Assembly programme to raise the profile of mental health and provide inspirational role models for young people to raise self esteem
  • Notice boards, branding, posters and other resources to raise awareness of the programme
  • Staff awareness and introductory briefing session rolled out across over 100 schools in a consistent delivery style

Building Capacity within the Schools to Support and 'Hold' Children in the School System

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Course (certified)
  • Risky Behaviours Course
  • 5 day SMILE Mentors Programme (Bespoke training programme developed during the contract)
  • Development of a comprehensive handbook with over 100 task and resource cards for staff (all branded and consistent)

Direct Services and Interventions including Counseling, Inspired Life Well-being Programmes (strength based) and Staff Supervision

  • Referred young people for group counseling sessions over 5 weeks with designated partner organisations
  • Inspired Life Role Model and Emotional Literacy Programme (delivered 23.8% improvement in adolescent well-being)
  • Staff supervision groups to advise on coping strategies and provide opportunity to unload stresses and issues

This programme is no longer running as a SMILE entity but the Inspired Life CIC has continued to deliver as an independent organisation

Contact Rich for more information about Youth Mental Health and the work the team delivered.

Comic Strip AIG cards covering important topics
Comic Strip AIG cards covering important topics
Comic Strip AIG cards covering important topics
Dedicated Website for AIG and interventions
Dedicated Website with downloadable resources