North East Connected

Region’s schools to take part in big conversation on children’s mental health

A North East conference on the mental health issues affecting children and young people will bring together leading experts and 150 school delegates.

The conference, taking place Thursday 8th of June, will provide attendees with practical advice on how to improve pupil wellbeing and mental health in their schools.

Head Teachers in the North East consistently cite child mental health problems as one of their uppermost concerns. The issue is further compounded by the erosion of support services due to welfare reform and public sector cutbacks, leaving schools isolated.

To improve this, SCHOOLS NorthEast, the representative body for all 1,250 schools in the region, formed the UK’s first and only schools-led commission into pupils’ mental health. Co-chaired by Professor Dame Sue Bailey and Steffi Ellison, a pupil from Hartlepool.

The conference is part of SCHOOLS NorthEast’s ongoing programme around child mental health and will inform the Healthy MindED commission which brings school leaders together with key stakeholders with the aim of developing a fresh approach that is adoptable across all schools.

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair of the Healthy MindED Commission and Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition said:

“It is an honour to co-chair the Healthy MindED Commission. The role of schools in supporting children and young people’s mental health is high on the agenda at the moment and the North East is leading the way on this. The fact that over a hundred schools will be contributing to the discussion is testament to this.

“The Commission is looking for school led solutions to tackle the prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people.  Whilst the Commission is focused on the North East, our hope is that their solutions will be also help children, young people and schools across the rest of the country.”

Professor Miranda Wolpert MBE, of the Anna Freud Centre and University College London, the UK’s leading expert on what works and what doesn’t regarding children and young people’s mental health, will also be a keynote speaker on the day.

The Healthy MindED conference will take place Thursday 8th of May at the Durham County Cricket Club in Chester-le-Street. For more information about the programme, timings and costs, please visit the event website:

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