The 2016 Youth Mental Health Teachmeet is going to be the first in the UK which is focusing solely on this theme. Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.  It will be held on 6thJune 2016 at Magna Carta School in Runnymede.  It is open to all. 

This blog post is written by Chris Edwards, Deputy Head and Clare Erasmus, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Magna Carta School who have dreamt up the event. We are delighted to support and hope to see many of you there!

Program Outline

The Teachmeet starts at 4.45 with a half hour open market where people from local charities, organisations and council groups who have successful experience of working in Youth mental Health and wellbeing in schools will have stands and be available to chat to delegates about the programs they are running and can offer. Teen Yoga & Mindfulness will be there!

The Teachers will then be inspired by a host of speakers who are all currently working in schools and delivering programs and initiatives which are having a positive impact on destigmatising and supporting Youth Mental Health. At 7.10pm the speakers will draw to a close and delegates can return to the ‘open market’ where business cards and contact details can be exchanged and hopefully this will be the start of a host of mental health and wellbeing initiatives in schools around the country.

Who is this event for?

The idea is for all teachers who want to know more about Mental Health in schools to come to the ‘meet.’ It is not just for those specialising in this arena. The objective is to destigmatise and get all teachers talking about Youth Mental Health and the role of our schools and the type of education we deliver. It is about further raising awareness and a real opportunity for sharing good practise as we aim to embed youth mental health education and support firmly in the curriculum and educational spaces around the country.


The Hosts for the evening are staff from The Magna Carta School, Chris Edwards who is a Deputy Head and Clare Erasmus who is the Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing. With full support from the Head teacher Tim Smith, they started with intensive primary research into the student voice and wellbeing barometer of their students. They then have responded to these findings with the launch of a series of pilot projects in their school. Their objective was four fold:

  1. Destigmatising Youth Mental Health and offering it a separate focus from SEN.
  2. Raising awareness throughout the school community including parents
  3. Training teachers
  4. Having a pre-emptive approach and supporting students showing early signs of Mental Health difficulties with trained adult and peer support

This resulted was the Launch of a host of projects which although have been running less than a year are already having a real positive impact. Many of these projects will be addressed by speakers at this Teachmeet.

For example:

  1. KS4 YOGA in PSHE to help support students showing signs of anxiety and stress
  2. Introducing Mindfulness and Movement as an option in PE
  3. Building an app called My TeenMind which addresses all key areas on mental health and wellbeing and with specific advice about where they can get support in the school and the community. Using this app in tutor times and as a resource in PSHE
  4. Training of Wellbeing peer and adult mentors by RELATE
  5. Creating a Wellbeing Zone with Wellbeing pop in lunchtime room; a Club Chill for vulnerable students; an Anti-bullying pop in lunchtime room for bullying specific support; a Wellbeing centre with trained adult mentors who can conduct 1:1 and group work. (They are hoping to add a .b meditation pop in lunchtime room for those practising mindfulness meditations.)
  6. Training of staff in the practise of Mindfulness with a view to eventually teaching it in schools.
  7. Producing a film on the dangers of high consumption of High Energy Drinks called ‘Energy Drinks – what’s the harm?’ as a raising awareness campaign for their students and other schools in the area.

The school has attracted a lot of interest from mental health champions like Natasha Devon MBE, Foreign Secretary and local MP Phillip Hammond and local councils who are all suggesting the school may have a blue print for other schools to follow.

As a result of a lot of interest from schools wanting to come and visit and observe best practise it was decided to get everyone together at the same time and fill the school theatre with a TeachMeet. The idea is for other teachers, educational practitioners and the Wellbeing team from The Magna Carta School to all share best practise.

Keynote speakers

Dr Pooky Knightsmith and Nina Jackson are two of UK’s most published Mental Health and Wellbeing Ambassadors recognised for delivering quality training on the topic, contributions to raising awareness in the public arena and working with leading Think tanks on mental health. They will be accompanied by 5 and 10 minute speakers from Teen Yoga & Mindfulness in schools, Relate, Jepeca – the inspiring happiness team, Wellbeing student ambassadors and Wellbeing parent ambassadors, Gaia Technologies who helped build My TeenMind app with the students and of course Clare Erasmus and Chris Edwards.

[picture_frame source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3128″ align=”left”] Nina Jackson has been described by the TES as ‘an evangelical preacher of education’ she puts the health and wellbeing of all teachers and learners at the core of everything she does. She is an Associate Director with Independent Thinking as well as running her own company Teach Learn Create Ltd. Her latest book, Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons: A compendium of careful advice for teachers, has taken the education world by storm.


[picture_frame source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3129″ align=”left”] Dr Pooky Knightsmith directs the children, young people and schools programme at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that provides fully-funded mental health training to schools. Pooky is a passionate ambassador for mental health who loves to research, write, speak, teach and share all manner of ideas about mental health, wellbeing and PSHE.  Her enthusiasm is backed up both by a PhD in child and adolescent mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, and her own lived experience of anorexia, self-harm, anxiety and depression.


[one_fourth]TYMindfulnessx[/one_fourth] [one_fourth]relate[/one_fourth] [one_fourth]jepeca[/one_fourth] [one_fourth_last]Gaia2[/one_fourth_last]



Sharing Experience

All representatives have extensive experience of working with teachers and students to deliver programs within the school timetable and environment. Many speakers will also be found in the ‘Market ‘at the start and end along with other great organisations like Innovating minds.

It will be a punchy 2.5 hours where teachers and school leaders will feel inspired and encouraged to take that first step themselves towards tackling youth mental health in our schools. Delegates will be emailed an E-Goody Bag at the end which will have additional information to help them through setting up various programs plus videos and links to resources for teaching and raising awareness.

It is free with a refreshments bar available throughout. Delegates will also be invited to visit the schools Wellbeing zone where anti bullying and wellbeing student ambassadors will escort and talk you though our space and you can meet Matthew Lambert the professional mural artist who created some of the inspirational art work on the walls.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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[one_fourth]LOCATION:[/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]The Magna Carta School – A community school in the heart of Runnymede
Thorpe Rd, Staines Upon Thames, Surrey TW18 3HJ[/three_fourth_last]

[one_fourth]DATE:[/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]6th June 2016[/three_fourth_last]

[one_fourth]TIME:[/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]4.45pm – 7.10pm (plus open market at the end)[/three_fourth_last]

[one_fourth]COST:[/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]Free[/three_fourth_last]

Please email: to reserve your seat.


Please note spaces are limited as the Theatre only seats 200 people but we are expecting a real mixture of senior and junior school teachers, Teaching assistants, senior school leaders and representatives from Mental Health and Wellbeing organisations around the country. People are emailing in every day to reserve their seat.


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