If you work in a school, you are probably already aware of the increasing need for mental health support in schools - both for students and staff. This recent news report, which has appeared all over the media in the last few days, highlights the extent of the problem.
"School staff in Scotland missed almost 400,000 work days for mental health reasons in the past three years, figures have shown. Teachers and support staff took 395,330 sick days related to mental health since 2015-16, based on research using a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Lib Dems.

The findings reveal teaching absences have risen from 75,281 to 87,066 days in the three-year period. Support staff sickness due to issues such as stress, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder increased from 43,307 days to 58,300 by the past academic year."

At AOK, we have recently engaged an associate tutor who can make a real difference to your skills and confidence to support mental health. These skills will help you to look after your own mental health, that of your family and colleagues and of your students.
Scotland's Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) is a two-day, certificated course which will give you the knowledge and skills required to recognise people who may be having mental health difficulties and give you a framework for how to intervene and offer initial help.
In a nutshell, this course is about learning how to notice someone is struggling, that they may need help and to have the confidence to do something, rather than nothing.

You will learn:

  • More about mental health problems like depression and anxiety - what the signs and symptoms might look like.
  • How to start a difficult conversation with someone you think might need help, or you are worried about.
  • How to listen non-judgementally, offering support and kindness. You don't have to offer advice or fix people's problems - that's not your responsibility.
  • How to signpost someone to where they can go for professional help.
  • How to offer someone ideas for what they can do to help themselves.
  • How to ask if someone is thinking about suicide. This can and has saved lives.

This is done in an inclusive, supportive way, with plenty of activities and discussion. There is no expectation that you will share your own experience. The facilitator, Carolynne McKendry, has been a SMHFA instructor for 12 years and has trained hundreds of teachers and staff from Education.

Visit the Scotland's Mental Health First Aid website for more info on the course:

Our next two-day certificated course is on Friday 22nd Feb and Friday 01st March, here at AOK HQ. Sign up now and start the year confident in your ability to do the right things to support mental health in your school - book now

About Us

AOK delivers a varied programme of CPD training for teachers and the teaching profession.

Our workshops are limited to a maximum of 16 delegates which allows for close interaction between attendees and our tutors.

Contact Us

AOK Learning Ltd

Station House
Suite 2.3
34 St Enoch Square
G1 4DF
United Kingdom

+44 (0)141 221 1001

Where to Find Us