Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May)

This event will bring together key academics, politicians and local charities with a focus on mental health and generate a debate around key issues and possible solutions and ways forward.

Approaches towards child MH in the UK need to be seen in the light of the postindustrial neoliberal austerity-context, in which cuts have effected long-term established MH services, whilst at the same time there is lots of publicity around how ‘we are failing our children on this front’ – the likes of Tanya Byron, as well as social media (Guardian) consistently flag up failures in this area (e.g. Byron said that whilst 25% of children in the UK have a mental health issues, only 6% of the health budget is dedicated to this).

Sceptics on the other hand (‘Spiked’) argue that an over-focus on MH is counter-productive and that we have to be careful with how we define MH illness; add to that the fact that women are diagnosed far more often than men (potentially down to doctor/gp/diagnostic bias), altogether creating the need for a debate around these issues and find ways to inform and improve practice.

More information can be found at:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-awareness-event-tickets-31962011236

Conference, 2016: Education and Childhood Studies: Research, Practice and Impact.

The School of Education and Childhood Studies held its 2016 conference on Monday, 11th July 2016, sharing some of our and others’ research, practice and impact in relation to the following themes:

  • Mental Health and Well-being in Childhood and Education
  • Childhood and International Development
  • Action Research in Teacher Education
  • Creative Pedagogies

Keynote speakers

Professor Rachel Brooks, Head of Department of Sociology, Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey
Internationalisation, Global Capital and English Secondary Schools

Dr Sarah Riley, Director of Research, Reader in Psychology, Aberystwyth University
If looks could kill: The social aspect of body image and how we might use that to build resilience

In this conference – two parallel sessions on ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in Childhood and Education.

Download Research, Practice and Impact programme 2016 (pdf)

Seminar: 18 November 2015 – Implementing the Pyramid Socio-Emotional Intervention in Schools: Bridging Research to Practice

Speaker: Michelle Jayman and Bronach Hughes, University of West London, Department of Psychology

How it helps

pyramidbookletcoverDeveloped in the 1970s in the UK, Pyramid clubs for children offer a therapeutic group-work early intervention for children aged 7-14.

Normally run as a targeted after-school club in order to minimise stigma and make it accessible to the widest number of children, the clubs run for 10 weeks for 1.5 hours a week, offering a developmental journey for those children who internalise their difficulties and are showing early signs of mental health problems such as social withdrawal, somatic disorders, depression and anxiety.

Theoretical basis

Pyramid clubs have been developed using concepts from two key psychological models: cognitive psychology and positive psychology. The clubs offer children and young people an experiential model of learning about and developing strategies for managing their thoughts and feelings in a supportive environment.

Research by Schiffer on the needs of latency-age children and by Kolvin on the value of short-term therapeutic groups for children at risk, both in the 1970’s, led to the development of the Pyramid model initially.

Pyramid adopts early-intervention principles, working with children at the early signs of problems developing, rather than waiting for full-blown mental health difficulties to develop.

Download Pyramid Presentation (pdf)