Mental wellbeing toolkit for education professionals

Last reviewed on 1 August 2021

This free toolkit from Good Thinking is available to London-based teachers, headteachers and other members of the school workforce who would benefit from mental health support. As research by the charity Education Support shows, the impact of COVID-19 on education professionals has been particularly acute – around half feel their mental health and wellbeing has declined as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to improve your mental health and it’s available for free on Good Thinking.

We know you have faced and continue to face many challenges due to COVID-19. After an incredibly difficult 2020 and early 2021, you might be feeling burnt out. You’re probably still concerned about your health and that of your family, students and colleagues and, with results day and the start of the Autumn term ahead, things might feel overwhelming.

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As London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking is here to help boost your mental health. We provide resources that promote self-care for the four most common mental health disorders (anxiety, sleep problems, low mood and stress) and many other concerns. This includes recommending a range of NHS-approved wellbeing apps, many of which we offer for free to anyone who lives, studies or works in London. We also provide self-assessment tools and a range of wellbeing content, including articles, blogs and podcasts.

In this toolkit, we introduce you to the Good Thinking service and our free resources. We also signpost you to other useful websites for mental health support. If you’re a member of your senior leadership team or a Designated Mental Health Lead, we would encourage you to share this toolkit with your colleagues. We’ve kept it short as we know you’re extremely busy but we hope you find it useful.

If you’d like to talk to someone in confidence, we recommend that you call Education Support on 08000 562 561 or contact Our Frontline / Shout by texting KEYWORKER to 85258 or calling 116 123. If you need urgent support, please get in touch with your local 24/7 NHS mental health helpline – find out more here.

London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking, provides resources that promote self-care for the four most common mental health disorders (anxiety, sleep problems, low mood and stress) and many other concerns.

Anonymous, free and available 24/7, Good Thinking supports people across London, including those who may not wish to access traditional healthcare services, who prefer not to be treated in a clinical setting and who are worried about the stigma around seeking mental health support. To get a flavour of the Good Thinking service, watch the video animation on our home page.

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Good Thinking was developed through a partnership of local authorities (led by Directors of Public Health), London’s NHS and Public Health England and is supported by the Mayor of London and delivered by Healthy London Partnership. We work closely with local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across London and charities, such as Partnership for Young London and Shout. We’ve also teamed up with two leading social media companies, TikTok and Yubo, to support young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good Thinking was built on user insights – Londoners were looking for personalised, safe, high-quality mental health support that they can access 24/7 – and is promoted on social media, search engines and other digital platforms. By curating NHS-approved mental wellbeing apps (many of which are free for Londoners) and providing clinically approved self-assessment tools, Good Thinking provides a route to early intervention for those experiencing problems with anxiety, sleep, low mood and stress.

Since its launch in November 2017, almost 500,000 people have used the Good Thinking service to take the first steps towards improving their mental wellbeing. Over the last 18 months, we’ve created a wide range of content related to help Londoners improve their mental resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simply go to the Good Thinking home page where you can search for resources by:

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  • Audience: (Young people, Parents and carers, Employers and employees, Faith and belief communities).
  • Mental health concern (Sleep, Anxiety, Low mood, Stress)
  • Type of content (Free apps, Podcasts, blogs and videos, How to guides, Workbooks)

Alternatively, you can use the search function to find resources about e.g. ‘Anxiety’, ‘Sleep’, ‘Eating disorders’, ‘Fake news’ or ‘Loneliness’.

If you’d like a more detailed mental health check-up, use Good Thinking’s clinically-validated self-assessment tool – you can choose to focus on a specific concern (e.g. anxiety) or do a general self-assessment. At the end of the assessment, you’ll receive recommendations for NHS-approved wellbeing apps and suggestions for next steps.

You can find further information about how to use Good Thinking and how to use the Good Thinking self-assessments on our website. If you need mental health support in relation to coronavirus, please visit our COVID-19 advice hub.

  1. Read through the toolkit then explore our self-assessment tool, articles, podcasts and other content.
  2. Download a couple of the apps that we recommend so you can see for yourself how they work.
  3. Share the toolkit within your school or college – with teachers, your leadership team, governors and other colleagues.
  4. Incorporate Good Thinking content in staff communications about health and wellbeing (e.g. intranet articles and staff emails).
  5. Inform parents, carers and students about Good Thinking (e.g. include the link in any communications about wellbeing).
  6. Sign up to Good Thinking’s newsletter and follow @GoodThinkingUK on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
  7. Listen to our podcasts and leave your feedback on the app store.
  8. Pass on Good Thinking’s details to other schools and colleges in London that you think would benefit from our service.

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It’s natural to feel anxious, worried or scared in certain situations, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can sometimes be difficult to control these feelings.

Symptoms of anxiety might include a fast heartbeat, headaches, feeling irritable and having trouble sleeping. In more severe cases, it might result in panic attacks and feeling unable to see people or carry out your job.

If anxiety is interfering with your daily life, we recommend the following Good Thinking resources:

A study by the charity Education Support in 2020 revealed that many education professionals have found it difficult to sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to improve your sleep and, at the same, lower your stress and improve your concentration.

Good Thinking provides a range of resources to support you in your quest for better sleep, including:

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  • Apps: Check out these NHS-approved apps that are free to anyone who lives, studies or works in London – Be Mindful, Meditainment, tomo and Twilight.
  • Self-assessment: Use Good Thinking’s sleep self-assessment. It only takes 20 minutes to complete and provides a guiding diagnosis, helpful resources and next steps.
  • Article: Discover Good Thinking’s tips about How to get enough sleep.
  • Podcast: Get advice from an NHS sleep expert in Good Thinking’s podcast about sleep.
  • Workbooks: Learn more about sleep and self-compassion in these Centre for Clinical Interventions workbooks.

As a frontline worker, you might have found that the COVID-19 pandemic has made you feel frustrated and tearful at times.

If your low mood lasts a long time and makes everything feel more difficult, you might be developing a mood disorder, such as depression.

Good Thinking recommends the following resources to build your resilience, help you to stay positive and boost your mood:

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When faced with danger, your body’s natural reaction is to give you a rush of adrenaline (often called the ‘fight or flight’ response). This feeling of stress is perfectly normal but it shouldn’t become something you experience regularly.

If you’re stressed about COVID-19 and your job, you’re not alone. In 2020, the charity Education Support found that nearly two thirds of education professionals (62%), including 77% of senior leaders, described themselves as stressed.

If you experience acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term) stress, you might find that you get back pain, have stomach upsets, feel tired and irritable and unable to concentrate.

There are lots of resources available on Good Thinking to help lower stress, including:

Good Thinking provides a range of resources for young people and their families, which you’re welcome to share with the wider school community.

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  • In our Young People section, we provide advice about bullying, eating disorders, fake news, bereavement and other concerns as well as several blogs by young people aged 12 to 21. Your students might also find some of our podcasts (on topics such as online safety and the importance of sleep) interesting and we also recommend a range of wellbeing apps, including Feeling Good Teens and Move Mood, which are free for Good Thinking users.
  • The Parents and carers section of our COVID-19 hub includes advice for parents and carers of children with learning disabilities and advice for adoptive parents and foster carers. Your students’ families might also be interested in our podcasts about supporting the whole family through the pandemic and supporting those with eating disorders. Throughout Good Thinking, we recommend NHS-approved wellbeing apps, such as Be Mindful, My Possible Self and tomo.

We have produced a range of materials to help schools, businesses and other organisations across London to raise awareness of how Good Thinking can help to boost staff mental health. You can download imagery, postcards and other assets on the Healthy London Partnership website.

You might also find this 2021 calendar of mental health and wellbeing awareness campaigns useful:

  • February 2021 Time to Talk Day
  • 20 March 2021 International Day of Happiness
  • 14-20 March 2021 Sleep Awareness Week
  • 7 April 2021 World Health Day
  • 28 April 2021 World Day for Health and Safety at Work
  • April 2021 Stress Awareness Month
  • 10-16 May 2021 Mental Health Awareness Week
  • 21 May 2021 World Meditation Day
  • July 2021 Talk to Us
  • 10 September 2021 World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 10 October 2021 World Mental Health Day
  • 12-16 October 2021 National Work Life Week
  • 3 November 2021 National Stress Awareness Day
  • 15-19 November 2021 Anti-Bullying Week

We would like to ask if you would tell us, anonymously, in which London Borough you live, work or study.

This information will help us develop more personalised support for Londoners, and improve our service to all users. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.