250 teachers in the UK are trialling a new app, called MindAid, as a tool to help them recognise and address mental health problems amongst their students.
The app was developed by Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, Dr Helen Pote, in collaboration with CYPIAPT SE Learning Collaborative and the Anna Freud Centre as a Mental Health First Aid training tool for teachers. The app includes information on how to engage with students and also where to direct them for appropriate help.
“In today’s society, young people can feel under extreme pressure from so many factors including doing well at school, pressure from social peers and problems at home,” said Dr Pote.
“MindAid is an information resource for teachers and supports early conversations about common mental health problems with young people. It draws together all the evidenced based information they need in one easy to use app,” continued Dr Pote
The information within MindAid is based on two clinically-backed resources: The Me and My Feelings Questionnaire, developed by Anna Freud Centre, and the MindEd Training Resources, developed by Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
According to Dr Pote, MindAid has different modules designed to be used by teachers and other school staff before, during or after a consultation with a student.
“The app is designed to give teachers a tool to recognise those young people who need help and includes sign-posting information on how to direct students who may need a helping hand,” said Dr Pote.
Before a consultation, teachers can use the LISTEN or LEARN features on how to approach conversations with children and discuss and understand common mental health problems.
During the consultation, teachers can use the QUESTION mode to complete ratings of difficulties using the Me and My Feelings Questionnaire to understand student’s difficulties and those with high levels of difficulties.
After the consultation, teachers can use the LEARN and REFER features to find out more about the difficulties and appropriate sources of help.
“Early intervention and prevention of common mental health problems is the key to making sure young people are supported sooner rather than later, and many teachers have been extremely supportive of this app,” concluded Dr Pote.