Jo Phillips, Laura Meek, Sarah Jordan

Mental Health and Well-being in Primary Education


A Practical Guide and Resource



Mental Health and Wellbeing in Primary Education offers a wealth of advice, tips and lesson plans for teaching and promoting mental wellbeing to primary age children along with a detailed introduction to how a range of key issues are diagnosed and treated.


About the Authors

Dr Laura Meek is a Consultant Child Psychiatrist. She has an interest in supporting teachers and empowering young people to take charge of their mental health. Laura has written articles for the Huffington Post, Juno Magazine and the Metro and is the author of Be Your Own Superhero (Penguin, 2019). She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two sons.


Joanna Phillips is a Primary Teacher and aspiring Children’s Author, who was previously a doctor in the NHS. She is currently a Learning Mentor and Nurture Teaching Assistant, supporting children with a variety of needs. She writes online about reading, books and mental health and she has an interest in how stories can be used to support children with their emotional wellbeing. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two children.


Dr Sarah Jordan is a mother and highly specialised Clinical Psychologist currently working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. She has worked with children and families for 18 years. She specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and interventions for children on the autism spectrum.

Details and Contents

ISBN: 9781912755929

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: May 2020

Table of Contents




Part 1: Putting mental health and wellbeing first

  1. Identification, responses and interventions
  2. Ready to learn
  3. A whole school approach


Part 2: Wellbeing

  1. Wellbeing for all
  2. Building Emotional Intelligence
  3. Managing and mastering screens


Part 3: Mental health presentations and conditions

  1. Anxiety, Panic and OCD
  2. Low mood
  3. Behaviours that challenge, anger and defiance
  4. Attachment difficulties and Trauma
  5. Autism Spectrum Condition
  6. Difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and tics
  7. Onset of puberty and gender identity
  8. Feeding and eating disorders


Part 4: Transitions

  1. Introduction to transitions
  2. Transition into Early Years settings
  3. Daily transitions
  4. Year-to-year transitions
  5. Transition to Secondary school


Part 5: Resources

  1. Lesson plans and resources
  2. Glossary
  3. Further reading and guidance



Mental health has received significant attention in recent years, due to campaigning and high-profile individuals sharing their experiences. As part of this destigmatisation, it has been argued that normalising mental health issues through lessons in schools could foster a society better able to deal with issues of mental ill-health.

In response, from 2020 health education will be compulsory in all schools in England. In primary schools, a focus will be on teaching pupils that mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health. Children are expected to understand that there is a normal range of emotions, that these can differ from person to person, and that mental illness is a common experience. They should also gain an understanding of how to recognise major triggers and seek support.

2 reviews for Mental Health and Well-being in Primary Education

  1. Juliette Powell

    It is unusual to find such a wealth of invaluable information in one book, written to such a high standard and backed by scientific and educational research and experience. A timely book, covering a broad range of mental health topics, some more common than others, ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ gives readers specific, detailed information, including symptoms, traits and challenges, along with wide-ranging resources, strategies and advice to explore when working with children. Meaningful links to other, related topics and sources of further support are also incredibly helpful. The book is also written in such a way that it is easy to go back and dip into different sections repeatedly, as needs arise and change and to refresh one’s memory.
    At a time when anxiety and poor mental health in children is on the increase and is causing widespread concern, I can highly recommend this book to anyone who works with children and young people and is passionate about doing their best for them. Whether new to the role or highly experienced, ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in Primary Education’ is definitely not to be missed.

    Lyndon Evans, Executive Principal of Aspire Academies Trust.

  2. Juliette Powell

    ‘A thoroughly researched, practical guide which gives a great overview for any primary school staff who want to better understand mental and emotional health.’
    Natasha Devon, campaigner and author of ‘Yes You Can: Ace Your Exams Without Losing Your Mind’.

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