Free resources to develop mental health literacy

Our Educational Approach

Using science-based tools, BrainWaves will equip young people to learn more about themselves and good mental health at school. We want today’s adolescent school students to get the information, tools and strategies needed to maintain good mental health and wellbeing. Based on robust evidence and the latest research, our educational materials are designed to help young people to develop their critical thinking skills and provide practical strategies so they can thrive in a challenging world.

Take a look at our schools resources website:


Our BrainWaves Lessons

BrainWaves has a series of evidence-based lessons to support mental health literacy. It is a multi-year mental health initiative and it is free for any school to access. The lessons are designed to improve students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Available for use in classes from September 2023, the lessons will initially be available for students in Year 12 before other years are added to the programme. In time, the series will be extended to include lessons for Key Stages 3 and 4.

Experts have helped design these lessons, basing them on topics resonating with young people and drawing on in depth focus groups and research.

Real-world scenarios and videos are used to present the most up-to-date science, as well as practical strategies to help young people cope better with the challenges of modern teenage life. Each BrainWaves lesson features a question designed to challenge students to think critically about a range of mental health issues. The relationship between their own thinking and real-life data is examined, helping them to think independently about how they can reduce any risk to themselves.

All BrainWaves teaching resources, support for teachers and other materials are available on our dedicated schools portal:

The value of research

This lesson explains to students the importance of taking part in adolescent mental health studies and how their involvement with BrainWaves can help improve mental health for all teenagers.


The teenage brain

This lesson helps students understand the changes that take place in their brain and with their hormones during adolescence and how this affects their mental health.

Sleep and teenagers

This lesson explores how sleep pattern and hormones change for adolescents and the relationship between sleep and wellbeing. It provides practical tools to help teenagers get more sleep.

Having a conversation about mental health

This lesson gives students the confidence to start a conversation about mental health, as well as supporting and listening to their friends when they ask for help and advice.

Boosting your mood

This lesson explains the spiral trend of depression and shows students how to use behaviour change to deliberately boost their mood through activities they enjoy when feeling down.

Re-examining stress

This lesson captures what students have already learnt about stress management through their experiences with GCSE exams and bolsters their knowledge about relaxation techniques.

Teacher Resources

One of BrainWaves’ goals is to ensure teachers have the confidence and skills to teach lessons about mental health to teenagers. Our resources include:

  • Clear and accessible lesson plans
  • A series of webinars to help teachers understand the scientific background and content of the lessons. These webinars are useful for continuing professional development (CPD).
  • Guidance and advice on sensitive issues around teaching mental health, such as how to have difficult conversations and how to avoid triggering young people.

School-Based Interventions

A key element of the BrainWaves programme is the trialling of school-based mental health interventions at a small number of pilot schools. Young people will take part in a carefully monitored and analysed programme of mental health and wellbeing activities and learn about the value of research. Teachers will be provided with in-depth support to help implement and manage the interventions. By taking part in the pilot, young people and schools will help shape the evidence-base behind these interventions and feedback into their future design in a very real way.

Get involved!