Mental Health Champions in Bradford Schools

Mental Health Champions in Bradford Schools

The Mental Health Champions project

The Mental Health Champions project was born out of the Government's Green Paper: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision.

The project was set up to provide support for schools in dealing with children and young people with low level mental health or emotional wellbeing difficulties. It is not intended to replace specialist support, but is a way that schools can access information and guidance for staff carrying out their day to day roles and responsibilities. The project is managed and delivered by Bradford Educational Psychology Team, meaning that training and support is based on up to date research and evidence-based practice.

Although it has been running on an ‘opt in ‘ basis for a number of years, all schools in Bradford are now expected to join the project. Delivery of the project is fully funded by the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Bradford, and therefore costs to schools are minimal, and mainly limited to the costs of sending Champions to the six meetings.

Schools should nominate a ‘Mental Health Champion’ who acts as a point of contact in school and who attends six meetings per year where they receive training and supervision related to issues affecting the mental health of children and young people.

Meeting Dates

Please find below a list of target weeks and proposed themes for network meetings this year. (Full details are on the Skills for Bradford website). Network meetings are intended to be delivered in area hubs to support local links and sharing of resources:

Mondays: West          Tuesdays: North          Thursdays: South          Fridays: East

w/c 2nd December 2019

Relaunch and introduction

w/c 3rd February 2020

Depression and anxiety

w/c 23rd March 2020

Coping with transitions

w/c/ 18th May 2020

Self-harm and suicidal thoughts

w/c 29th June 2020

Healthy relationships


Each area is allocated the choice of either a morning or afternoon session.   Champions should book their preferred session on the Skills for Bradford website: (registration required).

Forthcoming meeting topics:

The Mental Health Champions’ Network Meeting: March 2020 sessions – Managing Transitions

This session will cover the challenges young people face when transitioning through different stages of life, especially from primary to high school.

The sessions will be led by Victoria Morris and Samantha Attwood. Other members of the EP team will be there to facilitate.


The Mental Health Champions’ Network Meeting: May 2020 sessions – Self Harm and Suicidal Thoughts

This session is aimed at raising awareness of self-harming and suicidal thinking amongst young people.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that many members of staff in school interact with students who may be experiencing self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and this is happening in primary as well as secondary schools and colleges. This training is not intended to replace specialist help and intervention, but does help staff to understand why some young people might engage in self-harm, what kinds of behaviour are related to self-harm, and how staff should approach the subject with pupils in school.  

The sessions will be led by Dr. Claire Cooper-Jones, Jessica Allen-Summers and Dr. Cheryl Forsyth.  


The Mental Health Champions’ Network Meeting: June 2020 sessions – Healthy relationships

This session is aimed at exploring how young people develop and maintain healthy relationships throughout different stages of life, and how this can impact upon mental and health and emotional wellbeing, and vice versa. From conflict in friendships in the early years, to adolescents and young adults having the assertiveness and resiliency to maintain appropriate boundaries, this session will also give Champions some practical suggestion as to how they can encourage young people to foster positive and safe relationships with others.

The sessions will be led by Dr. Hayley Armstrong-Palling and Elisabeth Shepherd. Other members of the EP team will be there to facilitate.  

For queries please email:

Useful websites:  The website for booking your place at network meetings. The online digital counselling service for 11 to 18 years olds commissioned by Bradford CCGs. Link to information on this resource for supporting children and young people with emotional regulation. Link to free online resources which explain the fight, flight, freeze and submit responses in user-friendly guides. A useful video that explains how early experiences affect brain development and how this impacts on behaviour. A thought-provoking TED talk about how children 'do well if they can'.


Page owned by Claire Cooper, last updated on 10/07/2020. This page has been viewed 5,455 times.