A trauma informed school (TIS) is one that is able to support children and teenagers who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour acts as a barrier to learning. TIS training programmes were born out of a response to major public health studies that have shown that when children who have suffered several painful life experiences, are unhelped, there is a very high chance of them going on to suffer severe mental and physical ill-health. We therefore support schools, communities and other organisations in providing relationships for these children that heal minds, brains and bodies. Key conversational skills in addressing and making sense of what has happened are central to our work as is a major shift in whole school/organisation/community culture.
Rising numbers of children are presenting with mental health difficulties in schools and current teaching environments are struggling to keep up. Many children have a high ACE score (meaning multiple adverse childhood experiences) known to leave children at risk of mental and physical ill-health later in life and even early death’ (The ACE study Felitti and Anda, a study involving over 17,000 people). Children spend 190 days a year at school so TIS believe that schools are very well placed to pick up the baton and help these children.
Joshua Tyers, Head of School at Biscovey Academy, illustrates the transformation in his school from chaos to calm through creating a trauma and mentally healthy school culture. Josh highlights the steps taken by the leadership team and staff in implementing policy, practice and cultural change at every level. He also shares the impact in outcomes for children, staff and the cost benefits to the school.
Headstart Kernow offers training courses and events, information, signposting, resources and more to schools to help build resilience and mental wellbeing for children and young people.
SPACE stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions and is a parent-based treatment program for children and adolescents with anxiety, OCD, and related problems.
SPACE aims to treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although children do not have to attend SPACE sessions – they are the patients! When SPACE treatment is successful children feel less anxious and function better following treatment.
Some of the main anxiety problems treated with SPACE include:
- Separation anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Generalized anxiety
- Fears and phobias
- Panic disorder and Agoraphobia
- Selective mutism
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Emotion coaching and SPACE courses are useful to support these practical ways to support reflecting emotional needs- can help us to reflect on own parenting past too.