The Blurt Education Programme
The Blurt Education Programme is a ground-breaking project focused on improving the mental health of young people aged 4-11, equipping them with essential tools to ultimately achieve happier, healthier, and fulfilled lives.
We’ve worked with schools, colleges, and with university students throughout the UK, to teach young people about mental health through fun, engaging activities. At the end of the programme, students have the chance to create a project, to share their learning with others in their school. Research has shown that young people benefit from hearing this stuff from their peers as they feel better-able to identify with them.
"Your resources always look lovely, are thoughtful and appropriate. You don’t shy away from the difficult bits and make it easy to have those conversations that are much needed"
Why We’re Doing This
Youth mental health problems are on the rise, however 75% of young people with a diagnosable condition don’t get the support they need. Even without having a mental health condition, young people will face a whole bucket-load of challenges that can range from friendship break-ups, to family breakdowns, bereavement or bullying.
These challenges can have a huge impact – an impact that’s worsened when a young person hasn’t been taught different ways to look after their mental wellbeing. Young people without adequate coping skills turn into adults who struggle to cope. Early intervention is key. Supporting children to develop positive coping mechanisms as early as possible can help them to build up a well-resourced toolkit for managing the challenges life as they grow up.
"We could be honest and felt comfortable with our teacher and talked about lots of different situations when we might feel sad or bad."
- Primary school student
Everyone has mental health. So we should all have access to the knowledge and tools we need to look after it.
The Blurt Education Programme supports young people to proactively look after their wellbeing, and to encourage those around them to do the same.
Through our work with Primary Schools, we:
- Created workbooks packed with almost 100 activities which have been sent to nearly 200 primary schools.
- Supported students to develop tools and strategies for managing their own mental health.
- Empowered young people to share their learning with others in their school.
- Encouraged both students and teachers to have honest ‘how are you?’ conversations.
- Supported school staff to manage their own wellbeing, learn more about mental health, and develop networks to share ideas and support with others.
Our programme of support is supported by Little Moons who have helped us to keep it free to schools.
"It explains that you're never alone in the world when you have problems."
- Primary school student
Through our work with secondary schools, colleges, and university students we:
- Created a programme of e-learning containing 5 modules.
- Developed the programme into a Teachable course including videos, downloads, and a programme handbook.
- Supported students to develop resources, lesson plans, and activities.
- Supported school and college staff to run the programme with small groups of students.
- Compiled the activities and worksheets into downloads for schools to use.
"[I'm] Going to try to help myself when my mental health is dipping rather than ignoring it and reaching a burn out!"
- University student
Research shows that primary school teachers are more likely to report high rates of stress than secondary school or alternative provision teachers. It’s widely reported that teachers often feel undervalued and struggle with particularly high workloads.
The last thing we want to do, is add to school staff workload. So we provide the resources and support needed, to get stuck into programme straight away. We built our workbook on the National Curriculum, so that it supports existing work, rather than adding an extra dollop of ‘stuff’ to think about. Connections between members of staff, and between students and school staff can be invaluable. We want to create the space to allow school staff to support that; not pile on additional pressure.
"Y4 have really enjoyed exploring how we can express emotions using facial expressions and colours."
- St. Catherine's CE Primary School, Horwich.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Little Moons, Rigorous Digital, and Coffee & Kin for supporting us to keep our programme free to schools. Unfortunately, the programme will be ending at the end of the 2021/22 academic year, but we’re so thankful for all of their support – we couldn’t have done as much as we have without them.
We’re currently exploring the legacy of our work to ensure that we can continue to help young people and those that support them. If you have any questions to want to contact the eduction team, you’re always welcome to email us.
Your donations mean we can continue our important work which not only changes lives, it saves them too – THANK YOU!