It’s time to focus on students’ mental health

A feature sponsored by Bucks New University

In 2017, Bucks New University will start an MSc in mental health and wellbeing in education; a course that teaches you how to reshape lessons and the learning environment to enhance students’ experiences at school. We’re holding an open day on 15 February 2017 where you can find out more about the subjects covered in the course.

It comes at a time when NHS Trusts are £2.2bn in the red and waiting lists for mental health care are exceedingly long. And with the right knowledge, you can help the health service and its patients by tackling lots problems before they materialise.

75% of psychological disorders start before the end of higher education. It’s a vital time in a child’s development and giving children tools for supporting their mental health now can make a huge difference to their whole lives.

Why study an MSc in mental health and wellbeing in education?

Firstly, it’s important to stress than it’s not just teachers whose career will benefit from studying this master’s degree course! Social workers, school nurses, youth justice professionals, the police and head teachers all influence children’s lives, and while they’re not mental health professionals, they can all help improve children’s wellbeing.

Ofsted inspections now review children’s mental health and wellbeing. It’s becoming an increasingly important part of education, yet few have the knowledge of what a psychologically healthy environment actually is.

That’s where this course comes in. It provides the skills and tools you need to create a teaching environment that enriches children’s mental wellbeing. It doesn’t try to undo what you know, it’s all about making small changes in your approach and learning how to react positively to any issues that young people reveal to you.

What’s covered

The course is spread over two years. In the first year, we’ll explore how a person’s psychology develops over a lifespan and where education fits into this development. These topics will sit alongside research-based tasks where we’ll encourage you to think about what wellbeing is in your workplace’s context.

The second year will focus on how you can bring about change through positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

By the end of the second year, you will have produced a research project dissertation. We take a holistic approach where one size doesn’t fit all, and the project is based on your own challenges and priorities, and how you would tackle them.

You can learn more about what the course entails at our open day held on 23rd November. If you can’t make this event, visit our website for more info.

What you gain

Along with another string to your bow in the form of a high-level qualification on your CV, you’ll have the capability to make a difference to young people’s lives. Only with knowledge of the subject can you have confidence in your decisions when tackling someone’s mental health and wellbeing, both of which need to be handled delicately.

In an educational system that often leaves people feeling overwhelmed, disempowered and frightened, you’ll be able to bring about change. It’s not just students you can help, you can also improve the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues.

To find out more about the course, come along to the open day on the 15th February 2017.

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