Suffolk Education Mental Health Lead Network

This network is for education setting staff

Welcome to this page where you will find information about Suffolk's Mental Health Lead Network.

What is the Mental Health Lead Network?

The Mental Health Lead Network is a network that has been set up for educational staff, and has been running for the last year. Our network continues to grow and develop with educational settings across the whole of Suffolk and here is feedback from our members.

What our members are saying about our network

"Innovative, inspirational and influential -a network which makes a huge difference to staff and students." - Westbourne Academy. 

"This is the only network of its kind, without it we would be on our own. It was a big ask of the DfE for all settings to have a senior mental health lead - a role that adds additional responsibility to our already very busy jobs! I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone who attends the network - I couldn't do this without support of this group." - Suffolk New College. 

MH Network image v2

(Image above shows two happy cartoon people, one with hands up in celebration)

How can my school/setting join the network?

If someone from your setting/school would like to join our network meetings, please contact us 

Please see below all of our network meeting dates for this academic year.

We will provide further details and handout resources from the sessions as they occur. Our Mental Health Lead Steering Group (attended by education setting staff from Primary, Secondary and Post 16) help us to determine the topic of our Network meetings. Our next Steering Group meeting is in early January when we will update this page with further session topics.  

The below image shows a summary of the Circle of Friends training session. 

2021 11 22 Circle of Friends Building Relationships graphic

Image title reads: The intentional building of relationships.

This image does contain text that may not be accessible to everyone. If you need accessibility help to view any of our online resources, please do contact us for assistance by emailing psychology&

Please see the graphic below which captures the headlines from this meeting for future reference.

 Mental Health Network 3 Nov Emotion Regulation

(Please contact us if you cannot view the above graphic and need help, email

Thank you so much to those who were able to join this network meeting. 

Please see the graphic below which captures the headlines from this meeting.

 Reflecting Role of MH lead 1 December

(This image contains text that may not be accessible to everyone. Please contact us if you need help accessing any of our graphics by emailing

We are highlighting three example resources that you may find helpful on the topic of staff wellbeing:

  1. Wellbeing for Teachers Newsletter - This newsletter by the Wellbeing Service has advice to help staff look after their wellbeing.
  2. Anna Freud 10 steps for school staff wellbeing and other school staff wellbeing ideas
  3. Guidance on conducting confidential staff wellbeing surveys and promoting staff mental health and wellbeing

GOV.UK Mental Health Lead Training information - For those who are still interested in finding out more about the Gov funded training programmes for Senior Mental Health Leads.Links shared during meeting:

  1. Anna Freud Mental Health Lead Training - One link to a particular example of a training provider. 
  2. The Designated Mental Health Lead Planner: A Guide and Checklist for the School Year paperbackThis book is written for Mental Health leads that a network member recommended is read ‘discerningly’ (“It is very comprehensive but you have to realise that this is not written for anyone who has MHL as a secondary role.”)

  3. Anna Freud wellbeing measurement for school staff survey - An example of a staff wellbeing survey.

  4. Guidance for Developing Relational Practice and Policy - A guidance on writing relational policies in schools from another LEA (we are working on our own Suffolk guidance): 


This session was hosted by Beth Mosley, our NSFT (Norfolk Suffolk Foundation Trust) Psychologist in Schools Lead, and is aimed at Mental Health Leads based in educational settings.

It gave guidance on supporting young people who self-harm, and reference to support resources.

You can download this presentation from the session titled 'Understanding Young People's Self-harm'

Resources following the session 

Self-harm Toolkit - This is the online condensed version of the Self-harm toolkit guidance which educational settings can find the full version available to download from the Schools Information Portal. (If your setting needs access to the Schools Information Portal, please email

Papyrus Safety Planning Tool

Useful information and advice for parents, carers and young people:

Self-harm in children and young people advice page

The Source website Self-harm advice for young people

Self-harm leaflets:

I feel like hurting myself - A Self-harm z card for young people with advice and support information.

Self-harm - A guide for parents and carers leaflet - This leaflet has been designed with parents to provide helpful information and suggestions at a time when parents and carers may feel confused, powerless or uncertain about how to make sense of their child’s self-harming. 



Please fine the following presentation on staff wellbeing from the Education Mental Health Lead Network meeting that took place on 3 March, which was led by Kay Breton and Clare Darwin.

Let's Talk - Staff Wellbeing Presentation, (PDF, )

Sharing good practice: What contributes towards supporting Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in your setting

Kay Breton and Claire Darwin led a reflective session allowing the opportunity to share effective strategies across a graduated response to supporting mental health and emotional wellbeing.

View the presentation 'A whole setting approach to promoting good mental health and wellbeing'. 

Click here for a printable PDF Version of this presentation.

We would like to thank all the educational settings who contributed to sharing best practice strategies across Suffolk.

Please see our 'What is a School or College Relational or Relationship Policy and Why have One?' presentation from our Mental Health Lead network meeting on 12 May 2022.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this session.

For this Mental Health Network meeting we had Educational Psychologist Dr. Esther Borrett and Inclusion Facilitator Kelly Francis deliver a 30 minute talk describing the theory around what it means to be ‘a trauma-informed school’ and why this is beneficial.

This was followed by Mental Health Lead and SENCo at Castle Hill Primary School Lou Pattinson who gave a brief overview of how her school became trauma-informed, and reflect on the impact that this has had for her school.

Download the Trauma Informed PowerPoint Presentation from this network meeting. (

Please see below the various resources that were shared during this session for your information.

This is our Mental Health Lead Network questionnaire - Please fill in to let us know about your experience of our meetings so far - only takes a few mins to complete but no pressure! We do use these to help guide our topic choices for future sessions.







This session will cover information on how schools can work together with parents and support them to support their children who may be struggling. It will also cover a brief overview of current mental health services, what is available and how they can be accessed.

The session will be run by one or two psychologists from the NSFT clinical psychology team.

We look forward to settings joining us for this next Mental Health Network meeting discussion. 

This mental health lead network meeting was an opportunity to reflect on the last year and shape the content for the coming year.

View presentation from September 2022 MH Network meeting - reflecting over the last year.

In this MH Lead network session we will be considering and reflecting on the role of the Designated Mental Health Lead, on what a job description might look like and on what this translates to in terms of typical weekly activities for our Suffolk DMHLs.

Useful links

Those with mental health lead responsibilities in their setting may find these links helpful, alongside opportunities to join information sharing networks.

National Network of Mental Health Leads – The UK body for Mental Health and Wellbeing Leads 

Senior mental health lead training 

DfE Senior Mental Health Leads Course - Three Eggs Training   

Anna Freud Mental Health and Wellbeing School Timetable - It includes curriculum themes and occasions linked to mental health for the 2022 spring term, with activity ideas and suggestions for each theme.

Anna Freud Mental Health Awareness days 2022 - Dates for Mental health awareness days in 2022. 

Mental Health Lead in your setting Questionnaire - We are interested in how you are finding your role as Mental Health Lead in your setting. We would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete our short Mental Health Lead Questionnaire