This document has been updated and the latest Wellbeing Toolkit can be found here.
If I could select one training course in the last 18 months I have attended that has provided me with the most useful guidance for supporting students with SEMH needs, the Wellbeing Toolkit Training provided by Dr Tina Rae would be it.
The Wellbeing Toolkit (through the Nurture Group Network) provides you with 20 training sessions you can deliver in house to put into a place a whole school approach to wellbeing and SEMH within your educational establishment. The titles are as follows:
Topic 1 Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing
Topic 2 Developing Assessment for Wellbeing
Topic 3 Understanding Attachment and Trauma
Topic 4 Children and Young People diagnosed with Autism: Management and Support Issues
Topic 5 Children and Young People diagnosed with ADHD: Management and Support Issues
Topic 6 Understanding stress, depression and anxiety
Topic 7 Managing Anger
Topic 8 Understanding Self-harm
Topic 9 Using Listening and Coaching skills
Topic 10 Building Resilience Using Tools of Positive Psychology
Topic 11 Using strategies from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Topic 12 Using strategies from Solution Focused brief therapy
Topic 13 Using strategies from Motivational Interviewing
Topic 14 Using Mindfulness Approaches
Topic 15 Developing Wellbeing through Drama and Art Activities
Topic 16 Addressing Sensory Needs
Topic 17 Developing Wellbeing using Horticulture and Outdoor Activities
Topic 18 Using Play to Promote Wellbeing
Topic 19 Using Strategies from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Topic 20 Using Peer Supervision and Maintaining Staff Wellbeing
The wide spectrum of resources means that all needs are catered for in SEMH knowledge. For those looking to increase awareness there are topics designed to outline the basics of mental health and wellbeing. For those looking to put into place procedures, provision and policies there are a range of different topics that have direct, real world applications in mainstream and specialist school settings.
In terms of my own practice, I found the Topics 9, 10, 11 and 14 most useful for one to one work with students. Often when faced with students explaining the difficulties they are experiencing teachers can struggle to find the right words to say to help support a student. These topics provide useful, easy to understand advice with how to direct conversations into useful, supportive frameworks as well as providing advice that can be given to help students reduce their levels of stress. It can help you teach students how to recognise unhelpful thoughts and challenge them as well as giving staff positive approaches to working through problems.
Not only does this resource provide you with 20 training topics to work with there is also a CD with all the presentations you will need to deliver this effectively. These include anger management strategies, mindfulness techniques and many other helpful tools.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the training for this resource delivered by Dr Tina Rae herself. I found her to be thoroughly engaging and knowledgeable whose real world experiences informed every incredibly useful piece of advice given. This resource is available as a stand alone folder (https://www.nurturegroups.org/news/wellbeing-toolkit-0) but also as a training course through various organisations (http://www.sebda.org/events-and-training/events/).
I recommend this course as a foundation to any professional looking to put into place more effective strategy for supporting SEMH. It provides an excellent basis for whole school provision and can be used to cascade training through your organisation to raise awareness and garner support for SEMH in all areas.
A Wellbeing Toolkit Part 2 is now available which I will review in due course.