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Sheffield Hallam mental health teaching gets royal approval

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Issued:15/02/19

An education lecturer from Sheffield Hallam University has presented a project tackling mental health in education to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

Dr Lynne Truelove of Sheffield Hallam's Institute of Education (SIoE), presented alongside Julie Harmieson, co-director of Trauma Informed Schools UK (TISUK), to describe how SIoE is working to provide more effective training for teachers to improve mental health support in schools.

The pair were invited to speak at the Royal Foundation Mental Health in Education conference in relation to their work on training teachers and education practitioners to provide better mental health support.

The Royal Foundation was launched in 2009 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge and His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex to further their charity work. HRH the Duchess of Cambridge's work at the foundation focuses on the youngest people in our society, spearheading work on early year's education and mental health.

Journalist Kate Silverton who compered the conference is also a keen advocate for improving children's mental health support and a supporter of the Place2be charity - of which HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is the Royal Patron.

Dr Truelove said: "We know that the numbers of children with mental health issues in nurseries and schools are increasing, as are the numbers of teachers and education practitioners leaving the profession.

"Our department of teacher education is at the forefront of practice in supporting trainees, to enter the workforce with underpinning knowledge, confidence and skills to face the challenges of daily practice with all children."

Julie Harmieson recently came to SIoE to begin a new Trauma Informed Schools course, delivered in partnership with Sheffield Hallam's social mobility programme South Yorkshire Futures.

The course provides training to professionals from a range of education settings, to help improve support available for pupils and students with mental health issues. It follows work already being done within the University to improve teacher training around mental health.

Speaking about the Royal Foundation presentation, Julie said: "Teachers are a front line mental health service. It is vital, therefore, that we equip them with the necessary skills and training to provide effective support, right from the beginning of their career, whilst also encouraging continued professional development.

Dr Lynne Truelove takes part in a panel discussion
Journalist Kate Silverton introduces the event
Dr Lynne Truelove and Julie Harmieson present at the conference

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"Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge highlighted in her address that the mental health of our children is inextricably linked to the mental health of the adults around them. It is paramount that we develop a culture and ethos of mental health for all members of the school community." 

Sheffield Hallam University is the most prominent university in the UK for driving improvements in education and championing social mobility.  

As a key regional institution, the University has committed to improving education across South Yorkshire through its ground-breaking social mobility partnership: South Yorkshire Futures. 

The flagship project, backed by the Department for Education, aims to improve attainment and raise aspiration for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across all age groups, whilst developing a dedicated workforce to support them. 

From early years through to higher education, Sheffield Hallam provides over 1,000 qualified teachers each year to the education system regionally and nationally.  

The University works with a range of partners to undertake world-leading education research to inform and influence practice and policy, including working with UK and international governments.

For press information: Laura Burden in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5301 or email l.s.burden@shu.ac.uk