Children & Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework
The Department of Education and Department of Health jointly published the Children & Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework was launched on 26 February 2021.
The main emphasis of the Framework is to support educational settings to promote emotional health and wellbeing at a universal level, through a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach, building resilience to enable our children and young people to cope with challenges they may face in life and providing early and enhanced support for those who may be at risk or showing signs of needing further help.
- Children & Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework (final version)
- Children & Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework (Easy Read)
- Children & Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework (Equality and Human Rights Policy Screening)
- Children & Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework (Guide to Rural Needs Act NI)
The Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG), formerly known as the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), is in the process of developing the ‘Children and Young People’s Emotional Health & Wellbeing Framework in Health’ that will align with the Education Framework. Both Frameworks present an opportunity to join services together in a way that improves access and delivers a more positive experience of services for the benefit of children and young people and their families and as such are complementary.
An implementation plan was developed in 2021 based on priorities identified by the Department of Education and its partners in the Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework.
- Children & Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework Implementation Plan - February 2021
The following services and projects have been established under the Framework:
A secure and confidential text messaging service for young people aged 11-19 providing access to a school nurse for advice and support. This service (with separate dedicated text numbers) is also available to parents/carers and school staff with concerns about a young person.
REACH (Resilience in Education, Assisting Change to Happen)
An EA youth service programme for 6-19 year olds to develop positive emotional health, increase their readiness for learning and build their resilience.
RISE NI (Regional Integrated Support for Education)
Expansion of the health led multi-professional early intervention team (up to primary 7). Support provided from this team includes support for children and young people with emotional health and wellbeing needs including those related to speech, language and communication needs; and/or sensory, motor or perceptual difficulties.
Emotional Wellbeing Teams in Schools (EWTS)
A health-led multi-disciplinary team working with mainstream post-primary settings (including EOTAS) to promote emotional health and wellbeing and ensure schools are aware of appropriate pathways for support, including those within their local area, and when referrals for CAMHS based interventions are appropriate.
Being Well Doing Well (BWDW)
An EA led programme which aims to assist all schools (including EOTAS) to develop a Whole School Approach (WSA) to emotional health and wellbeing (EHW). This approach will provide participating schools with a framework to assess current policy and practice and implement actions to develop EHW in their school. In addition, schools will receive training to provide staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to understand and promote EHW in their school.
CCEA Wellbeing Hub
This hub provides curriculum linked resources and support for teachers and parents.
The Attach Programme
This is delivered as part of the Primary Children Looked After Advisory Service and focuses on trauma-informed practice and the importance of relationships for children looked after, providing training and support to staff who in turn support the child.
School Nursing Pilot
A PHA led school nursing pilot currently operating in 5 post-primary schools across NI (one in each health trust), with a school nurse located in the school. The participating schools are: Mercy College, Belfast; Abbey College, Newtownabbey; St Patrick’s College, Dungannon; Lisneal College, Londonderry; St Malachy’s High School, Castlewellan.
Support and Resources
Other existing programmes and services which are available to schools include:
There are many sources of information for children, young people and their parents / families on emotional health and wellbeing, some of which can be found below:
- Your child’s mental health | nidirect)
- Take 5 steps to wellbeing (English and translations) | HSC Public Health Agency (hscni.net)
- Northern Ireland | inourplace - Solihull Approach | inourplace (free online courses using code: NIFAMILIES)
- Youth Wellness Web – Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) (hscni.net)
- Directory of services to help improve mental health and emotional wellbeing | HSC Public Health Agency (hscni.net)
- Our Generation App (Peace IV funded project) - play games, collect stars & learn about mental health and resilience! Download from Google Play or Apple Store
Emotional Health and Wellbeing Flyer
The various supports and services, to support the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people in school (including EOTAS), are outlined in a flyer.
The iMatter Programme and guidance issued to schools regarding the self-assessment audit tool to support school development planning in the area of emotional health and well-being (Circular 2018/07) preceded the Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework.
This has since been replaced with the Being Well Doing Well Programme which includes a self-assessment audit tool as part of a wider package of support. Further information on Being Well Doing Well can be found on the EA website: Being Well Doing Well