Students shown the path to good mental health

Published: Thursday 16th February 17

A major new project is helping to improve the mental health of Wandsworth’s school pupils.

Students in ten primary schools will be taking part in the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) programme for the next four years.

PATHS helps young people to develop self control, emotional awareness and problem solving skills.

Children are taught to recognise emotions, and learn that although all feelings are ok, some behaviours are not. They then learn how to solve problems within their relationships, and the importance of self-esteem.

The skills are taught through special lessons and teaching materials, and the PATHS ethos is embedded into everything the school does.

The council’s health spokesperson Cllr Maddan said: “Opening up conversations early on with children about their emotions, and how to manage them, is vital for laying the foundations of healthy relationships and openness about mental health.

“We want the PATHS programme to give children the tools to manage their emotions and address their feelings in a way that will benefit their mental health for the long term, well into adulthood.”

The programme is being run by the charity Barnardo’s. It is funded by the NHS and was commissioned by Wandsworth Council as a part of its commitment to improving the long-term mental health of the borough’s schoolchildren.

As well as teaching lessons once or twice a week, teachers will receive coaching from Barnardo’s throughout the four years that the scheme is running.

Find out more about PATHS at

Read more about Wandsworth schools in Headstart.

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