We worked with 19 schools to develop See Me See Change for use in schools across Scotland.
In 2020 See Me started developing the See Me See Change approach for schools in Scotland to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.
The first element of the approach to be developed and piloted was the See Me See Change training programme. The pilot, which took place between 2020 and 2022 with 19 different schools across Scotland, was evaluated by the Mental Health Foundation. The formative evaluation provided See Me with key learning that was used for development throughout, with lots of learning from all our participating schools and staff council leads.
See Me recognised the need to develop a more flexible and sustainable approach for schools to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. The unprecedented challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic created accelerated this. No longer being able to deliver Scottish Mental Health First Aid directly in schools, See Me staff, youth consultants and See Me volunteers (aged 16-25), supported by the Mental Health Foundation, began to adapt and develop a new offer for schools, which eventually evolved into See Me See Change.
Created by young people for young people
See Me See Change was developed with young people and See Me volunteers, ensuring that the voice of young people and lived experience is embedded throughout the See Me See Change sessions and resources.
Delivered under challenging circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic and pressures on schools, we are incredibly grateful to all those that participated in the See Me See Change training programme pilot.
We’ve worked with 123 members of school staff and 289 pupils from 19 different schools* in Argyll and Bute, Glasgow, North Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders.
Our pilot schools worked with us to deliver the See Me See Change training sessions and identify what works – and what doesn’t – for school pupils and staff.
The process gave us the opportunity to adapt facilitation notes, PowerPoints and session plans to meet the diverse needs of schools across Scotland.
The pilot was largely delivered to staff and pupils via online delivery in a variety of ways that worked for the different localities. We are aware that as return to more in-person delivery, it has been important to reflect this in the resources to ensure they are adaptable to both delivery formats.
Read more about some of their experiences of taking part in the See Me See Change training programme pilot.
*Please note, due to the ongoing Covid-19 challenges exact numbers of pupils and staff participating was challenging to obtain.
We’d like to thank the staff and pupils of Dunoon Grammar School, Lochend Community High School, all Scottish Borders secondary schools and all North Ayrshire secondary schools for all of their support in the development of See Me See Change.
A huge thanks also goes out to the See Me volunteers who supported the development and delivery of the See Me See Change approach - your input, insight and expertise has been invaluable.
In Glasgow, Lochend Community High School in the city’s Easterhouse took on the See Me See Change pilot, delivering the approach with both S5 and S6 year group pupils and 18 members of staff.
Emma Large, principal teacher of pastoral care at Lochend Community High School, said that the programme has had a big impact on both students and staff.
She said: “The programme has been really positive in allowing people to have conversations that they wouldn’t have had previously. It also got us to think about some of the stigmas that we just accept and need to challenge more."
“One thing I’ve learned is that pupils know quite a lot about mental health – and some of the ideas they’ve got for our action planning session are really good. See Me See Change is letting us tap into those ideas, and giving them a forum to express how they feel and what they think would make a change.”Emma Large, Lochend Community High School
In the Borders, we piloted the programme in all nine secondary schools in the local authority, which was led by school Health and Wellbeing Support Officers Yvonne Wilson and Joanne Thomson, and supported by Quarriers’ Resilience for Wellbeing service.
See Me See Change fits with Scottish Borders Council’s local authority-wide approach around supporting young people’s mental health in schools.
Yvonne explained: “We all want to help our young people with the growing problem that there is at the moment, around mental health. As teachers, we are often the first point of contact for young people who are experiencing problems with their mental health, however, many staff do not feel they have the right knowledge and skills to offer the support required. The training from See Me has given staff the confidence to have those initial conversations."
“One message that we all took away from the programme is that the most important thing you can do is listen.”Yvonne Wilson, Scottish Borders Council
A total of 76 pupils and 41 members of staff, including pastoral staff, subject teachers, support staff took part supported by 12 Quarriers practitioners.
Quarriers practitioners work in each secondary school in the local authority, focusing on prevention and early intervention to aid and improve mental health amongst young people.
“Now that See Me have delivered the training, we’ll work with each of the schools, the students, the mental health ambassadors and the school leads to action plan how they’ll play a role in tackling stigma and challenging discrimination in their schools.”Angela Freeman, service manager, Quarriers
Angela continued: “We’ve just delivered our first mental health awareness training session in Kelso, and you could see that the mental health ambassadors were raring to go, they’re really inspired. We’re seeing an impact already.”
We worked with eight secondary schools in North Ayrshire, enabling 103 pupils and 25 staff to work together to implement their school action plans.
Schools have reported that, not only are they feeling more confident in tackling mental health stigma and discrimination, but the approach has helped them think more about their own mental health and wellbeing, and the language they use around mental health.
Jacqui Marwick, Irvine Royal Academy, said: "Participating in the pilot has allowed us to open up dialogue about mental health, create leadership roles for young people as mental health ambassadors and continue to work towards ensuring that everyone in our school community feels safe to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences and reach out for support when they feel they need it.
"I would encourage other schools to take part in this process as there are clear benefits of doing so. It has given us the opportunity to network and ask for support."
“As the restrictions around the pandemic ease, we may see more young people, parents/carers and staff requiring support. Mental health of all is and should be a priority. This initiative will help set schools on the right path to creating a stigma-free environment for all to thrive.”Jacqui Marwick, Irvine Royal Academy
Access the tools and resources you need to get started with See Me See Change.See Me See Change