Better mental health for young people
Free resources to strengthen student mental health and wellbeing across secondary schools and sixth forms
Inform. Engage. Empower.
The philosophy behind the BrainWaves education programme is simple: combine the latest research and academic thinking around mental health to provide lessons for students that are evidence-based, engaging and empowering.
The result? A whole programme of mental health lessons and teacher resources across Key Stages 3-5 based on the best available evidence in terms of brain science and pedagogy. Endorsed by both the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Education at Oxford University, the lessons support the development of critical thinking skills, media literacy and self-awareness.
The BrainWaves educational programme launches in May 2023 with the publication of six lessons aimed at year 12 students. You can visit our lessons page to find out more about available lessons.
BrainWaves is a collaborative project, led by researchers at the University of Oxford
in partnership with The Day, an online daily newspaper for young people,
and the informatics team at the University of Swansea.
Knowing what works…
The BrainWaves lessons are based on the latest research, evidence and data. They have been trialled and tested with secondary schools across the country and approved by researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.
Making things better…
Each BrainWaves lesson contains practical, positive strategies to empower young people to improve and maintain their mental health and wellbeing. At the end of each lesson, students are challenged to ‘try one thing’ by implementing at least one new strategy they have learnt about. The impact of those strategies is then revisited in subsequent lessons.
Learning what to trust…
How do students know what information about mental health is safe to trust? The BrainWaves lessons are designed to promote critical thinking skills. They challenge students to think about sources, data and evidence and to identify what information is reliable. In this way, students are empowered to make better decisions about the masses of information they encounter online.
Help and support
Teaching about mental health can be a daunting task. To help support teachers, BrainWaves have developed a comprehensive array of resources around teaching each lesson and supporting young people. Click below to find out more…