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Mental health in schools in Scotland

We have recently completed a four-year project to offer our full range of Skills for Life mental health promotion programmes to primary schools in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. This work was made possible thanks to funding from the Kavli Trust who are generous supporters of good causes in the UK and overseas. The Kavli Group owns Castle MacLellan Foods Ltd in Kirkcudbright and they were keen to support work in the local area.

Partnership for Children worked in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and with Sleeping Giants, a Scottish social enterprise, to recruit schools, plan and deliver training, provide on-going support and evaluate how our programmes enhanced the work schools were already doing to promote children’s mental health.

Teachers were trained and received the resources to run our full suite of Skills for Life programmes covering the age range 5 – 12 years. We also developed and tested additional resources for the years when children were not directly involved in a programme. Special schools and schools with specialist provision were also given resources for pupils with special educational needs so that every child could benefit.

“We were already aware of all of the struggles that children were facing even before Covid, but since Covid children might be feeling more anxious. We saw a big difference in the children and I feel like the programmes help us equip them with resilience, and helping them to develop. They definitely gave me confidence to tackle things. Dealing with grief was probably the most sensitive subject that we weren’t very knowledgeable in how to help children with before" - Headteacher

This funding provided a unique opportunity to offer joined-up mental health support to children across the whole school and to learn more about the combined impact the Skills for Life programmes can have. What we learnt and developed in Scotland will impact our programmes across the UK and has been shared with our partner organisations in over 25 countries around the world.

Partnership for Children
12 June 2024