A new web-based app has been created by a Psychology academic at Royal Holloway for teachers to use to help identify and support students with mental health difficulties.
MindAid was created by Dr Helen Pote, from Royal Holloway’s clinical psychology department and acts as a Mental Health First Aid training tool and will be trialled by more than 250 teachers during the new September term.
The app is a resource to support teachers in recognising common mental health difficulties in young people and aims to provide teachers with evidence-based resources to support students and direct them to appropriate help.
It draws on clinical expertise and two key resources: The Me and My Feelings Questionnaire (Anna Freud Centre) and the MindEd Training Resources (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health).
MindAid can be used by school staff before, during or after a consultation with a young person and the main factors are:
Before: Use LISTEN or LEARN module on how to approach conversations with children and discuss and understand common mental health problems.
During: Use the QUESTION mode to complete ratings of difficulties using the Me and My Feelings Questionnaire to understand the young person’s difficulties and identify young people with high levels of difficulties.
After: Use the LEARN and REFER to find out more about the difficulties and appropriate sources of help.
Dr Helen Pote, Royal Holloway, said: “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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”