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Advancing Educational Strategies: The Integration of BrainWaves wellbeing resources at George Heriot’s School

A standout feature of the BrainWaves materials is their accessibility and user-friendliness, making them a valuable tool for staff, irrespective of their prior mental health knowledge.

George Heriot’s School has made progress in enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of its students by integrating BrainWaves resources into its educational strategies. In this article, Anne Connor, Whole School Wellbeing Co-ordinator, provides valuable insights into how these materials were incorporated into the curriculum, particularly in a fifth-year suicide prevention class, and how they have positively impacted both students and staff.

The free BrainWaves lesson, ‘Having a Conversation About Mental Health,’ provided a fresh angle for the school’s existing suicide prevention lesson. They were seamlessly embedded into the curriculum with slight adjustments to match the school’s values and students’ perspectives. This shift demonstrates the school’s proactive stance on mental health, stressing the significance of open student-adult communication. The school found the resources were not just informative but also engaging, resonating with students’ eagerness to support each other and contribute positively to their community.

A standout feature of the BrainWaves materials is their accessibility and user-friendliness, making them a valuable tool for staff, irrespective of their prior mental health knowledge. Anne added: “Not everyone in the team who delivers the session has the same level of comfort or experience. So what we liked about the materials was that even for staff who didn’t have an awful lot of experience, they felt comfortable enough to deliver the lessons.

This inclusiveness is crucial in creating a supportive environment where all staff feel empowered to enhance students’ wellbeing. The adaptability and flexibility of the materials significantly aided their successful integration, allowing customisation to meet the school’s specific requirements and ethos.

Looking ahead, George Heriot’s School aims to broaden the use of BrainWaves resources beyond suicide prevention, exploring their potential in citizenship education and wellbeing campaigns, with a focus on involving parents in these endeavours. 

The school’s mental health education approach, marked by adaptability, inclusivity, and community engagement, serves as a commendable model for institutions striving to enhance their mental health support systems.

As George Heriot’s School continues to delve into and expand the use of BrainWaves materials, it sets a precedent for educational institutions on effectively integrating mental health education, fostering a supportive and knowledgeable school community.

With thanks to Anne Connor, Whole School Wellbeing Coordinator, at George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, for participating. If you’d like to find out more about our wellbeing lessons, visit: https://education.brainwaveshub.org/brainwaves-lessons/