Most existing mental health and wellbeing interventions primarily address symptoms, not the root cause. But in order to solve any recurring problem, we have to address that problem at its source.
iheart addresses the root causes of mental health, behavioural and emotional issues amongst young people as well as challenges to resilience and wellbeing amongst staff in schools and educational institutions.
Through our preventative-based early intervention approach, we are committed to turning the tide; our programmes are already creating resilient children, resilient students, resilient families, resilient schools, resilient organisations and a more resilient society, proving that education truly is the key to prevention.
If young people are to achieve great wellbeing and realise their full potential, it is crucial they have confidence in their ability to manage setbacks and adversity through accessing their innate resilience. As the wellbeing of students and staff is inextricably linked, it is also crucial that school leaders and teachers have this same confidence, both in themselves and their students. Core to iheart’s vision is working closely with schools and educational institutions to build a sustainable wellbeing culture across the entire school community, including students, staff and parents.
Our Whole School Wellbeing Strategy involves the following key phases:
1. Leadership-driven: providing school leaders with bespoke coaching, consulting and guidance to embed a sustainable, whole-school approach to wellbeing.
2. Engagement: introducing the iheart approach through an initial workshop for all staff and key stakeholders
3. Staff wellbeing: strengthening the personal wellbeing and resilience of staff through an online group course addressing issues relevant to the school environment.
4. Building capacity: training select members of staff to deliver the iheart programme to students, creating a sustainable and cost-effective model.
5. Preventative mental health education: rolling out school-wide preventative resilience programmes to include all children, ensuring no one is singled out or left behind.
6. Peer Leaders: engaging members of the student body to create a cascading, young person-centred culture strongly influenced by student voice.
7. Parents/carers: supporting parents through resilient parenting courses to help build a common wellbeing language and understanding across whole family units.
8. Resources & Learning: providing key resources, learning opportunities and ongoing support for staff/teachers to deepen their own wellbeing and that of their students.
9. Impact: robustly monitoring and evaluating the impact of our approach on students and staff and making appropriate adjustments where necessary.
iheart Academy – Training for school teachers & staff
The iheart Programme
This unique contribution to the field of young people’s preventative mental health education, is built on a scaffolded approach to learning. The programme is delivered over the course of 10 sessions, each with its own clear learning objective and a mix of interactive discussions, activities, self-reflections, summary slides, animations, videos and group exercises.
Part 1 Foundations:
The Logic of How Our Mind Works
Participants learn in depth about their in-built potential and mental health by discovering how the mind creates all our realities, feeling states, moods and behaviours. This is the gateway for exploring the misunderstandings that create barriers to their natural resilience and wellbeing. Understanding the crucial connection between thought and feeling is the salient learning objective of Part 1.
Part 2 Applications:
Addressing the Daily Challenges Facing Young People
Based on the foundational logic established in Part 1, a range of the most relevant issues facing young people are explored, including: stress and anxiety; anger and conflict; prejudice and intolerance; bullying and bad behaviour; social media; identity and self-image; addictive and compulsive behaviours; and barriers to motivation and learning.
Outcomes & Impact Framework
Young people believe they can overcome adversity and achieve their full potential leading to anincrease in:
- Ability to manage difficult situations and deal with setbacks
- Self-esteem and personal confidence
- Coping and conflict resolution skills
Young people experience greater psychological and emotional health, leading to a decrease in:
- Stress, worry, anxiety, low moods and depression
- Feelings of victimisation, loneliness and isolation
- Addictive behaviour and self-harm
Young people become more autonomous independent learners with positive attitudes to learning, leading to an increase in:
- Progress and attainment
- Perseverance, problem-solving abilities and participation
Young people are more able to self-regulate their behaviour, leading to a decrease in:
- Exclusions and truancy
- Disruption (low and high level) and anger
- Frequency of poor/anti-social behaviour such as non-participation and aggression
Young people develop tolerance and understanding of others, leading to an increase in:
- Positive and respectful relationships with teachers, peers and family members
- Co-operating with others/teamwork
- Respect for difference, diversity and others’ views
Meeting Ofsted and Government Requirements
Our project empowers participants with a secure foundation to cope with many of the challenges that they confront in society today. As the UK government requires the promotion of British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for modern life, the iheart curriculum has been designed with this requirement at the forefront of our minds. The content of the sessions provide an excellent approach to developing this understanding on a whole school level, evident in the following ways:
- By learning about separate realities, students discover how to welcome and accept differences, rather than feel judgmental or discriminatory.
- By understanding where their feelings are coming from, students are better equipped to respond to destructive and extremist viewpoints.
- By learning about the shared ways in which all people operate psychologically, students have an increased respect for others and tolerance for diversity, as well as a greater capacity to reduce conflict and bullying.