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NICE issues guidance for wellbeing

Guidance outlines how to promote social and emotional wellbeing in young people

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on promoting the social and emotional wellbeing of young people in secondary schools.

Guidance from the institute follows reports that suggest one in 10 young people are unhappy at school and more than one-third are worried about being bullied. It outlines how secondary education providers and service commissioners can help protect and nurture young people by providing a friendly, supportive environment that meets their social and emotional needs.

Recommendations made for commissioners and providers of services to young people in secondary care include:

  • Enabling all secondary care education establishments to adopt an organisation-wide approach to promoting the social and emotional wellbeing of young people. The approach should form part of the local children and young people's plan and joint commissioning.

  • Recommendations for those working with young people in secondary education, including head teachers, governors and those working in children's and youth service include:

  • Providing a safe environment which nurtures and encourages young people's sense of self-worth and self-efficacy, reduces the threat of bullying and violence, and promotes positive behaviours
  • Working in partnership with parents, carers and other family members to promote young people's social and emotional wellbeing
  • Developing partnerships between young people and staff to formulate, implement and evaluate organisation-wide approaches to promoting social and emotional wellbeing
  • Providing young people with clear and consistent information about the opportunities available to them to discuss personal issues and emotional concerns
  • Ensuring practitioners have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to develop young people's social and emotional wellbeing. Training may cover a variety of issues including listening and facilitating skills and the ability to be non-judgemental.

    "The social and emotional wellbeing of young people is important in their development, not only in terms of the ability to learn and achieve at school but it can also help protect children against poor physical health, emotional and behaviour problems, violence and crime, teenage pregnancy and misuse of drugs and alcohol," said Professor Mike Kelly, public health excellence centre director at NICE. "A range of factors affect how young people feel, including their individual family background and the community they live in, so different agencies need to work together to agree effective strategies."

  • 23rd September 2009

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