Against the Odds: putting young black men’s wellbeing first

How could young African Caribbean men’s resilience be improved? | Centre for Mental Health

Three Birmingham-based projects (the Up My Street programme) were commissioned by Mind to improve young black men’s resilience. Our evaluation sought to ascertain whether the programme was successful, and what elements were especially effective.

The evaluation was funded by Comic Relief and completed in partnership with peer researchers, to obtain an in-depth look at the challenges facing young African Caribbean men, and how their resilience can be enhanced in the face of these struggles.

The Up My Street projects reached out to young men with a range of relatable male role models and created culturally informed safe spaces. Young men had experiences of co-producing activities to strengthen their self-esteem, self-belief, personal development and skills.

Award scheme recognises schools building better mental health

An NCB survey in 2016 showed the rising number of pupils suffering from mental health issues – now NCB is developing a Wellbeing Award for Schools.


From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and Optimus Education Ltd (part of Prospects Services Group), will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England.

This new award will recognise schools that embed a culture which values the happiness and emotional welfare of all its pupils. Both the Department for Education and Ofsted have supported this approach, stressing that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of a school community: its staff and governors, parents and pupils, and partner organisations beyond the school gates.

The Wellbeing Award supports schools to create a culture in which mental health can thrive, helping them to:

  • Show the school’s commitment to promoting wellbeing as part of day-to-day school life
  • Develop a whole school strategy for improving the wellbeing of pupils
  • Attract and retain high-quality staff.

Full details available here

A curriculum for wellbeing


The Department for Education has announced that schools will be trialling several mental health promotion programmes in schools, including mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and programmes teaching children about how to maintain good mental health. 

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to prioritise mental health. And it recognises the evidence of the critical role of schools and the high proportion of mental health problems that begin in childhood.

Read more at Centre for Mental Health

Full paper:
Children and young people’s mental health research and evaluation programme


Mental health – our attitudes and awareness

Image source: Hey Paul Studios – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Understanding what works to keep us mentally healthy and support those experiencing mental health problems is fundamental to reducing health inequalities.

PHE have been working with the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to understand more about public attitudes to mental wellbeing and mental illness and commissioned a series of questions on attitudes to mental health as part of the latest British Social Attitudes survey. This blog goes through some of the findings.

Two distinct pictures of public attitude emerged from the findings. On one hand people are being positive and aware about mental wellbeing, but on the other, we are still seeing negative attitudes towards mental health problems, despite widespread prevalence.

Topics covered include:

  • Mental wellbeing
  • Stigma

Read the full blog post here

Best start in life: Promoting good emotional wellbeing and mental health for children and young people

LGA. Published online July 2016

Best start in life Promoting good emotional wellbeing and mental health for children and young people

Image source: LGA

Summary of the key messages: Mental health and wellbeing in childhood – why it matters

Pregnancy and early years: critical to a child’s long-term development. Early interactions directly affect the way the brain develops and so the relationship between baby and parents is vital.

Five to 10: once a child has fallen behind in the early years they are more likely to fall further behind than catch up.

11 to 25: those with mental health and conduct disorders are twice as likely to leave school without qualifications.

Key stats

  • One in four babies live in households affected by domestic violence, mental illness or drug and alcohol problems.
  • One in five mothers suffer from depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis during pregnancy or the first year after birth. Teenage mothers are three times more likely to suffer from post-natal depression.
  • The cost to the economy is estimated at £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort – that’s almost £10,000 per baby. Nearly three quarters of that is linked to the impact on the child.
  • Three quarters of mental health problems develop before the ages of 18.

Read the full report here