What the mental health and wellbeing specialist award is, what your school needs to do to achieve it and why we have a mental health and wellbeing award.

About the mental health and wellbeing specialist award

The mental health and wellbeing specialist award:

  • is based on best practice guidance 
  • suggests ideas and interventions to support the whole school's emotional and mental health

It focusses on:

  • developing leadership for the topic area
  • investing in staff training of staff
  • promoting positive mental health
  • identifying and supporting those currently in need

Working towards the award will help your school to:

  • improve the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff
  • make sure there are appropriate strategies in place to support pupils and staff at risk of poor mental health

What your school needs to do to achieve the award

You must make changes in your school to improve mental health and wellbeing. This could include:

  • changes to the school's physical environment
  • changes to the school's culture
  • updating relevant policies
  • making improvements to the curriculum 
  • investing in leadership and training

You must complete the award within 1 year.

Use our online system to:

  • see the award criteria and guidance 
  • tell us you're starting to work towards a specialist award
  • send us evidence of your work
  • track your progress
  • submit your finished work

Go to the online system

Download the pdf award criteria (874 KB) .

Guidance and resources

We have advice, training and resources, such as lesson plans and example policies, on our Mental health topic page.

Why we have a mental health and wellbeing specialist award

Government research shows that:

  • children and young people with good mental health can cope better with stress and life's challenges, and grow into happy, healthy adults
  • staff who feel they work in a school that supports positive mental health will be more resilient and happy in their work.

Schools can:

  • teach children and young people how look after their mental health and wellbeing 
  • put policies in place that promote good mental wellbeing for pupils and staff

Schools are also in a good position to identify issues and intervene, because they see children so often. It's important that staff are well trained and know how to get help for pupils and themselves.

After you achieve the award

We'll send you:

  • a certificate
  • awards logos to use on your website or letterheads