Children’s mental health

Children’s mental health

Children’s mental health

Introduction

In 2018, a survey of teachers by Young Minds reported that 94% of teachers had seen an increase in children experiencing mental health difficulties. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has only made this worse, and the latest NHS research suggests that 1 in 6 children are experiencing a probable mental health problem.

2021 Award

Olivia Richards (CF 2016), a teacher based in Surrey, spent her 2016 Fellowship in the USA and Canada exploring how reading and writing can be used to support children’s mental health. On her return she founded The Story Project, a school-based social enterprise that provides training and resources for teachers and parents so they can use stories to improve children’s wellbeing, whilst also developing academic literacy skills. Olivia achieved a Let Teachers Shine Award from the SHINE Trust, which has enabled her to pilot The Story Project with 25 schools so far. Teachers have reported that children fully engage with The Story Project lessons and are demonstrating signs of improved wellbeing and literacy.

Olivia has been awarded one of our Activate grants to accelerate the growth of The Story Project and expand its reach across the UK. She will do this by working with a web design team to improve the content, navigation and capacity of The Story Project website, so more schools and parents can use it to support their children. She will also be able to provide a wider range of support on the website, including story-based resources for pre-school age children to help them develop the emotional skills they need before they start school.

Olivia plans to incorporate The Story Project into a community interest company, so it will have the infrastructure to support its growth. Olivia's aim is for The Story Project to be used to support children's wellbeing across the UK, hopefully contributing towards an improvement in the statistics around young people's mental health.

2021 Award

Olivia Richards (CF 2016), a teacher based in Surrey, spent her 2016 Fellowship in the USA and Canada exploring how reading and writing can be used to support children’s mental health. On her return she founded The Story Project, a school-based social enterprise that provides training and resources for teachers and parents so they can use stories to improve children’s wellbeing, whilst also developing academic literacy skills. Olivia achieved a Let Teachers Shine Award from the SHINE Trust, which has enabled her to pilot The Story Project with 25 schools so far. Teachers have reported that children fully engage with The Story Project lessons and are demonstrating signs of improved wellbeing and literacy.

Olivia has been awarded one of our Activate grants to accelerate the growth of The Story Project and expand its reach across the UK. She will do this by working with a web design team to improve the content, navigation and capacity of The Story Project website, so more schools and parents can use it to support their children. She will also be able to provide a wider range of support on the website, including story-based resources for pre-school age children to help them develop the emotional skills they need before they start school.

Olivia plans to incorporate The Story Project into a community interest company, so it will have the infrastructure to support its growth. Olivia's aim is for The Story Project to be used to support children's wellbeing across the UK, hopefully contributing towards an improvement in the statistics around young people's mental health.