BrainWaves consists of a combination of education and research that aims to transform the quality of wellbeing support in schools.

BrainWaves is a major response to a growing youth mental health crisis, after more than a year of planning by a group of leading academics, educationalists and philanthropists.

The mission is to build the evidence base to ensure schools become more effective environments for developing wellbeing in adolescence.

BrainWaves has been created first and foremost to serve the needs of young people so young people are at the heart of what we do.
Young people grouped on the steps of a school building

For Students

  • Every lesson is designed to help secondary school students develop the skills they need to manage their own mental health and wellbeing
  • The lessons contain important information but they won’t provide all the answers – the truth is that the answers aren’t all known because there has been much less scientific research into adolescent mental health than into adults. BrainWaves aims to start redressing that balance.
  • The lessons and the research are governed by ethics advisors from the University of Oxford team. At every stage the programme is consulting a permanent Young Persons Advisory Group formed of young people trained to provide feedback and oversight.

Ultimately BrainWaves will build into an empowering curriculum that both  provides important knowledge and encourages a scientific, realistic approach to well-being that is not scare-mongering.

On top of the lessons, which are freely available to every school, some schools will be taking part in the BrainWaves Research programme. This will involve pupils from Year 12 answering a series of research questions.