Place2Be is a children's mental health charity with over 25 years' experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools. We work with schools to improve the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of children in the crucial formative years of their lives.

Not every childhood brings happy memories. Some children experience traumas like abuse, grief and bullying that can lead to eating disorders, self harm, or even suicidal thoughts. 1 in 6 children now have a diagnosable mental health problem, and these difficulties often continue into adulthood if help is not available.

Place2Be’s mental health professionals promote positive mental health across school communities, ensuring children can access support in a safe place where they can open up without pressure. By providing support in the early years, we aim to prevent life-long mental health issues and help children to cope with challenges throughout their lives, ensuring they can achieve their full potential. Our evidence shows when we do reach children, their school performance improves and so do their life chances. A 2018 Pro Bono Economics analysis demonstrated that for every £1 invested in Place2Be there was a net return to our society of £6.20.

Our Whole School Approach supports:

Children and young people: Our mental health practitioners provide one-to-one counselling for pupils who are struggling and group sessions where pupils can talk about issues such as self-esteem and friendships together.

Parents: Our Family Practitioners work in partnership with parents to strengthen family relationships and manage challenging behaviour. Parents have access to ParentingSmart, Place2Be’s website full of practical advice, a parenting skills course and an online counselling platform.

Teachers: We offer teachers our Mental Health Champions training, which upskills them to understand behaviour and support their emotional wellbeing. We deliver Place2Think for teachers to talk about concerns and personal wellbeing together, and offer Place2Be Staffroom, our online community.

79% of children and young people with severe mental health difficulties had improved mental health after Place2Be counselling

Our vision is for all UK schools to have access to effective, evidence based mental health support and over the next three years we have ambitious plans to achieve this:

  • Growing our services in UK schools to reach 700 partner schools by
  • Reaching 10% of schools across the UK through training and wider services
  • Building the children’s mental health workforce
  • Raising awareness of children and young people’s mental health

Impact of The Syncona Foundation’s support

Thanks to generous funding from Syncona, we can continue adapting to the individual needs of our partner schools, providing agile services to support the mental health of children and young people, families and teachers. Syncona’s funding has enabled us to provide support to over 5,600 children in 12 schools delivering:

  • 1,750 one-to-one counselling sessions for children with the most urgent and complex needs
  • 600 Place2Talk sessions accessible for any pupil to drop-in and speak about how they are feeling
  • 625 Place2Think sessions offering time for teachers to learn how to support their own and their pupils’ mental health

Emma, Headteacher at Heathmere Primary School

"Place2Be has helped so many of our children navigate their way through whatever challenges they face. It may be that a child is struggling with a family bereavement; is finding friendships hard; is stuck in the middle of a parent's divorce; has seen violence in the home; or simply needs someone to talk to an adult they trust.

When dealing with vulnerable children, trust is so important. Children need consistency, a safe space and a strong relationship. Place2Be teaches children and parents and carers alike that therapeutic support is a normal part of life and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

I find it hard to imagine my school without Place2Be being right at the heart of what we do."

You can read Emma’s full blog here on Place2Be’s website.

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