EIS visited Dingwall in the last days of October to join with Social Enterprise Academy and 14 practitioners from across the Highlands region to explore practical ways of supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing in early years and primary education.  This course was supported by the SUL Learning Fund.

What was the lightbulb moment for participants?

It’s important to share ways of talking about mental health, and mental ill health that enables people to jointly understand, without stigma.  For example, using phrases like ‘my mental health is not great just now’ offers information for right now, without labelling an individual with enduring mental ill health.

Where can I find out more about this topic specific to the Highlands?

Routes of Empathy is an international organisation offering research and practical resources for exploring empathy in the classroom.

Birchwood Highland  offer support around building self-confidence and improving health and well-being. Community support teams operate in the Inverness, Easter Ross, Caithness and Lochaber areas.

Relationships  Scotland is the largest provider of relationship counselling, family mediation and child contact centre services, with centres across the Highlands and Islands.

Advocacy Highland is an independent voluntary organisation which provides free and confidential independent advocacy in the Highland region for individuals over 16 years old, who need to be supported to speak up about specific issues.

The New Economics Foundation provides a wealth of social research and evidence resources.  One focuses on the Five Ways to Wellbeing including actions for change and ways to talk about wellbeing.

NDAS - Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for parents and carers across the Highlands region.

Crocus Child Bereavement Support Service is a free bereavement support service for children and young people aged 5 to 18 years living in the Highlands.