Support student mental health with Time to Change

By Jo Laughran, Time to Change

Helping your students to develop the skills, habits and strategies to protect their mental health can have a lifelong positive impact – on young people themselves, their future employers and on wider society. This generation has the potential to be more open about mental health than any before.

Mental health movement Time to Change, co-ordinated by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is asking schools to commit to delivering four 10-minute scripted sessions to their students about mental health. Each is designed to suit a presentation format, but can be adapted for a classroom, youth group or workshop setting.

This year’s In Your Corner campaign features new sessions, plans, posters, PowerPoint presentations and films. It urges young people to check that their friends and loved ones are ok – and to ‘ask twice’ – highlighting the importance of students being there for each other and showing that they care.

Five simple wellbeing steps for young people

The message is that you don’t have to be a mental health expert to make a positive difference – showing that you care can be as simple as continuing to do the ordinary things you would do as a friend or listening to somebody who needs a chat. Time to Change has set out five simple steps for young people to follow, and examples of conversations.

To deliver your sessions, download Time to Change’s Guidance Notes for schools (attached below), then register for free materials, indicating the setting you will use to deliver your sessions and the approximate number of students you will reach.

Time to Change’s free resources have encouraged students to think twice about judging anyone with a mental health problem

Schools that have used Time to Change’s mental health tools attest to their practical value: “I can’t recommend these resources enough,” says Matthew Wright, executive headteacher at Wrotham School in Kent.

“We’ve found Time to Change’s free resources have encouraged students to talk more openly about the topic of mental health and to think twice about judging anyone with a mental health problem.”

A total of 702 schools took part in the In Your Corner campaign last year, but the ambition is build upon this and increase numbers. As Jo Loughran, director at Time to Change, explains:

“We want to see more students than ever taking part in our campaign and learning how to create a more supportive, understanding society for the future.”

Further reading

How schools can cultivate a positive culture around mental health


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