Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

Thurston Community College leads the way in mental health education in schools

September 2018
Dr Beth Mosley

A partnership scheme at Thurston Community College – one of the only schools in the country to appoint a full-time expert to support students with mental health issues – has been hailed a success with symptoms of anxiety and depression dropping significantly among its student body.

Eighty-one percent of students who had identified difficulties with anxiety or depression have seen their symptoms improve over the past 18 months, and they reported increased confidence and better engagement with the college in terms of attendance and learning. In January 2017, Dr Beth Mosley – a clinical psychologist at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – was appointed to take up the role at Thurston after the college approached the trust to ask how mental health support could be best offered to its 1,750 students.

Helen Wilson, Principal at Thurston Community College, said: “Since Dr Mosley joined us, we have already made a difference to the lives of our students. My colleagues certainly feel more aware of the issues and signs that a problem may be emerging, and are more confident in dealing with the students who may need additional mental health support.”

Dr Mosley said: “We teach students about physical health; it is equally important that we also teach them about mental health, especially as we know the two are so interconnected.”

The Thurston Community College initiative was featured on Channel 4 News on 11 September 2018.