Tooled Up Education

Researcher of the Month: Tanya Manchanda Discusses the Role of Friendship Interventions on the Mental Health Outcomes of Adolescents

Our Researcher of the Month, Tanya Manchanda, has recently published a review which assesses existing friendship interventions and their impacts on the mental health outcomes of adolescents aged 12–24 years. In this interview, Tanya considers what we know about these interventions, for both the teen who is trained and their friends and reveals that surprisingly few interventions which utilise authentic social groups have been studied, despite their potential for strong results. She talks us through some of the interventions that do exist and outlines key things that schools might like to consider when developing and implementing friendship interventions designed to improve teens’ mental health.

Someone I Love is Poorly: Activity for Primary-Age Children with a Sick Relative

This resource is designed to help adults engage younger children in supportive conversations about a loved one’s illness. We invite children to gently open up about worries they may have, give them confidence to ask questions and demonstrate that there are people in their lives who are prepared to help them find out the answers.

What Stops Me Asking for Help?

Even when children know who they can call on at times of need and understand how to get help, they might be reticent about seeking it. It’s important to explore any reasons why they might be reluctant and have open conversations about how to overcome these worries. This resource can be used as part of classroom discussion, or at home within family life, to prompt conversation about why seeking help and accessing their support network is always the best option.

Five Fingers of Support: My Helping Hand

It’s important for children to identify people in their support network who they feel happy asking for help, so that they know who to turn to if they are feeling down, need cheering up or are going through a crisis. This simple activity for young children nudges them to choose five allies who are always there to support them.

Dr Weston Talks with Suzi Godson: The MeeToo Mental Help App

In this podcast, Dr Weston talks with Suzi Godson, founder of the MeeToo mental help app, an NHS endorsed app, where young people aged 11-25 can seek help anonymously and receive reliable, age-appropriate and moderated support and advice from peers or trained counsellors.

Sources of Support for LGBTQ+ Teens

If your child is LGBTQ+ and needs support, here are some great services that can help. Many of them offer assistance to family members too.

My Safety Plan: A Coping Template for Young People Who Self-Harm

When we feel down, we can sometimes forget who we can turn to, message or call up for help. We can also forget about the things that we can do which will help us to feel better. If your child struggles with self-harm, it’s really important that they have coping strategies that help them and people around who they can talk to when they need cheering up. Encourage your child to fill out this handy plan, keep it safe, and to use it if they feel like they might be considering harming themselves.