TWO WOMEN have launched a ‘pioneering’ programme for secondary schools which helps make life ‘easier’ for teachers and equips students to manage their mental health and wellbeing more effectively.


Dr Sian Morris and psychotherapist Faye Kinirons this month introduced The Mental Health Project – a new educational start-up that offers Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculums and resources for children between the ages of 11 and 16.


The programme, available in England and Wales, meets the Government’s statutory guidelines on mental health and wellbeing. It includes digital resources such as guided videos, planned activities, teacher guidance, student workbooks, schemes of works, optional Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and parent webinars. The Mental Health Project offers five lessons for each year group from seven to 11 in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.


The Mental Health Project packages are designed to ‘empower teachers with the materials they need to guide students in learning about mental health and wellbeing’. They will also provide students with knowledge that will help them ‘make sense of their emotions along with practical strategies’ that will enable students to manage anxiety, low mood, body image, relationships, and exam stress.


Dr Morris, who has an MA in Education, met Ms Kinirons while they were both studying for a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy at The Metanoia Institute in London. The Institute is a provider of undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD courses in psychology, psychotherapy, and counselling – validated by Middlesex University.


Dr Morris is a chartered counselling psychologist and integrative psychotherapist and has worked for charities, including mental health charity MIND, NHS Trusts, and universities.





Ms Kinirons, who is set to finish her Doctorate in Spring 2024, has over 15 years teaching experience, including as a Sociology Head of Department and Coordinator of PSHE.


Having both worked with young people in education and therapeutically, the duo, who each run their own private practices, realised there was a ‘universal problem’ and decided to form The Mental Health Project to meet the increasing mental health needs of students in secondary schools.


Dr Morris said: “Teachers are being asked to respond to growing mental health needs of adolescents on top of what is often already an overwhelming workload.


“The current RSE and PSHE curriculum in England and Wales mean that secondary schools must decide how to cover mental health and emotional wellbeing lessons. This task often falls on the desk of one teacher who may have some knowledge but is already overstretched.


“They are then expected to create a plan that covers complex emotional subjects which may lead to students not getting the support they need. The teenage years are critical when it comes to learning how to manage things such as anxiety, body image and exam stress.”


Ms Kinirons said: “Young people need to know how to manage their mental health day-to-day. We feel passionately that this knowledge should not be restricted to those who have access to individual therapy or resources at home.


“The Mental Health Project has a simple mission. To provide resources that take care of the mental health curriculum for teachers that makes their lives easier while also equipping students with an understanding of their mental health and wellbeing along with strategies that will benefit them both in the classroom and beyond.”


The Mental Health Project is already working with schools in both the state and independent sector and is holding a free webinar for schools on January 9.


Ms Kinirons added: “We will be discussing some simple ways teachers can support students with their mental health in the classroom. We will be incorporating psychological theory such as attachment styles, the ‘window of tolerance’ and more. There will also be useful insights and tips for managing students’ mental health in the classroom.”