Young people's mental health and well-being is an important concern in the UK. Provision of education and support to schools has been highlighted as an area for improvement; however, evidence-based programmes are scarce and costly.
To provide an acceptable education programme to improve pupils' confidence and knowledge of mental health and well-being. It covered the mental and emotional well-being outcomes set by the Scottish Government in their schools' curriculum.
Lessons were designed by A.P. and delivered by volunteer doctors and medical students, and supervised by a psychiatrist. Outcomes were measured using questionnaires before and after lessons with optional comments.
PsychEd was piloted in 2016 in six schools to pupils between the ages of 11 and 18. There was a statistically significant improvement in pupil confidence and knowledge after the lessons (P < 0.001). Of the pupils 84% felt that having lessons on mental health was useful. Qualitative feedback was also collected and coded into positive, constructive and negative comments. In total, 72% of pupil comments were positive.
PsychEd showed promising results. Future areas of development include reaching a greater number of local authority schools, longer training for volunteers and provision of teaching materials to teachers for their own use.
Declaration of interest