Children’s mental health charity, Nip in the Bud (@nipinthebudfilm) has just launched an innovative training programme to help teachers, carers and parents spot the signs of mental ill health. Responding to the government’s commitment in its Green Paper Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, the charity – which is well known for its high-quality film resources – has brought together its films into a package that can be used by departments, teacher groups and smaller training sessions. Essentially, the work of putting together a purpose-built training session is done.

The training programme is specifically designed not only for senior leads for mental health but all school staff. It will help them to recognise and – importantly – to help children who may be struggling with their mental health. This comprehensive training is engaging and easy to follow.  

Nip in the Bud’s very purpose is to share information and best practice with those on the frontline. But it is more than a philanthropic venture. After the founders’ daughter was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) a number of years ago having first displayed symptoms at the age of eight, Daniel and Kitty Nabarro became involved in mental health and Daniel was appointed as chair of OCD Action, the largest UK charity focusing on the condition. They both believe that if parents or teachers were better equipped to spot the symptoms in children and intervene early on, they would be treated sooner and have far better outcomes in the long-term.

One of the biggest challenges with child mental health conditions is that children don’t necessarily have the understanding of their behaviours or the words to articulate them to their parents and carers. Young people may be embarrassed and worry about parents’ or peers’ reactions if they tell them about their thoughts, fears and behaviours. As a result, many children hide their condition and go untreated for years. 

NITB screengrab

Kitty Nabarro explains that, “teachers often have to deal with behavioural issues or disruptive individuals in their classes. It’s so important that they understand if these issues are linked to a mental health condition, how to respond to them and when to seek help. Early intervention is key.” The charity’s ultimate measure of success is to effect change in the education system, with a bigger focus on emotional wellbeing in pupils by teaching children how to understand and manage their emotions without fear or judgement and hopefully reducing the prevalence of mental health conditions. 

The charity is aware that time is tight, resources sparse and know how this is playing out against a pandemic. There is a nominal charge for this programme to cover costs but as the charity is keenly aware that times are though – really tough – they have reduced the price of the yearly license by 25% for the foreseeable future in the hope that this will allow more people who need to access this invaluable scheme.

Once payment has been made, an access code in sent out to share with all staff and students. This gives unlimited access to the programme throughout the year. The more we can let teachers and their teams know about this resource, the more children we can help. For more information, go to Nip in the Bud – Training Resources.

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