Emotional First Aid Website Update

The EFA website is currently going through a long overdue renovation.

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of regular updates which will endeavour to rectify this on a routine basis.

Kind Regards

EFA Team

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Primary EFA Trainers in Cornwall

We are delighted to welcome 8 staff from across Cornwall Council’s Education Dept who are now licensed to delivery Primary EFA training.

13000361_998297643539689_1637505691200499675_nCarol Kimberley, Early Years Senior Improvement Officer booked the team to deliver a Primary EFA course to 12 staff across the county in October last year, and we were delighted to have been asked back to deliver the Train the Trainer programme to 8 participants from the original course.

It is hoped that the participants will set up a local EFA Training hub in Cornwall and will begin cascading out training to staff working with Children in the coming months.

We will of course keep you posted with updates and wish them every success delivering their first courses!

If you are currently working in Cornwall and interested in attending future courses, please get in touch and we can forward your email to Carol and her team.

Email: info@emotionalfirstaid.co.uk

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What do you think about Peer Mentoring?

The Department for Education has sent out a call for evidence asking for views from young people and staff about their expereinces of Peer Mentoring.

Please do have a look

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to seek your help over publicising a call for evidence that the Department for Education has recently launched to ask children and young people what they think about peer support/mentoring for mental health and emotional wellbeing. We want as many children and young people as possible to take part in the call for evidence, so we have a really good picture of what they want from peer support in this area. The call for evidence is available at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/83F20/. We’re also putting flash polls on our Twitter page @educationgovuk every week for four weeks. The call for evidence closes on 24 March.

We have also put together a 20 to 30 minute session plan for teachers, youth workers and other professionals to use to get children and young people talking about peer support. The session encourages children and young people to think about what makes a good peer support programme, and to either complete the call for evidence or tweet us with their ideas.

To help us reach as many children and young people as possible we’re asking charities and other organisations to share the call for evidence with the children and young people they work with and publicise it through social media. It would also be great if you could circulate the session plan to professionals who may be interested if it is possible for your organisation to do so. The session plan can be accessed at https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/peer-support-session-plan-11227978.

There is also a call for evidence for professionals and parents, at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-peer-support. We would value your views.

Peer support can be a variety of things – from helping a friend to discuss their problems, through buddying and befriending schemes, to 1:1 and group support sessions. It can happen face to face or be online. It’s about promoting emotional wellbeing as much as supporting those with problems. The responses from the call for evidence will be used to help develop models for peer support.

The email address for any queries about the call for evidence is: PeerSupport.consultation@education.gsi.gov.uk.

Thank you

Mental Health Team

Department for Education
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Headstart Knowsley Video

Knowsley Borough Council have sent out the following link to share the amazing work they have undertaken through the Big Lottery’s Headstart Project.

Please do have a look – (guess who gets a wee mention!)

Headstart Knowsley Video

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Forward Thinking Birmingham chooses EFA!

We have just completed a Train the Trainers course for 11 staff from the ‘soon to be launched’ Forward Thinking Birmingham service which incorportates mental health colleagues from Birmingham Children’s Hospital and a variety of organisations representing the Volunatry and Communities Sector.

More information about Forward Thinking Birmingham can be found at:


It is hoped that EFA will form another layer of support and training for staff in schools and form a stronger link with the Primary Mental Health Workers to support children and young people.

We are delighted to welcome the new trainers and look forward to sharing how their work progresses.Birmingham

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Knowsley EFA Trainers deliver Parents’ EFA to Foster Carers

We wanted to share with you some terrific work two of the Knowsley EFA Trainers have completed with Foster Carers in the Knowsley Borough.

Ken Harrison and Nadine Hannah, both Foster Carers and EFA Trainers have delivered the Parents EFA Training to Foster Carers with some incredible feedback.  We have included an article and feedback Nadine recieved from Mike Harden, Chief Executive of Knowsley Council.


Emotional First Aid course for Foster Carers in Knowsley

A pioneering new training course giving foster carers the skills they need to deal with adolescent mental health issues has been hailed a success in Knowsley.

Knowsley has become one of the first areas in the country to introduce ‘Emotional First Aid’ courses for carers, helping them recognise developing mental health issues and better meet the emotional needs of both the children in their care, and the demands of their caring responsibilities.

The training was developed thanks to the Big Lottery Funded HeadStart programme which aims to improve the emotional resilience of young people aged between ten and sixteen years old. It was designed to address the difference in the available treatments and training for physical health compared to emotional wellbeing.

Cllr Gary See, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, explained: “It goes without saying that we ensure out foster carers have a knowledge of medical first aid, should an accident happen. But until now there’s been nothing similar to give foster carers a toolkit of tactics to help them care for a looked after child’s emotional needs – which may include feelings of failure, rejection, guilt or loss.

“Not only that, but we know carers themselves experience a range of difficult emotions whilst carrying out their vitally important role. We feel it is crucial that they get the support they need to cope with what is often a very demanding job.”

He said: “When we heard about the Emotional First Aid training that was being developed we saw it as an excellent opportunity to give our foster carers an even better understanding of how to manage the emotional and mental pressures they often experience.”

The Emotional First Aid Course was devised by experienced social work practitioners Stuart Gemmell, Dave Smith and Jacquie Kelly of Solent NHS Trust in 2009. It is specially designed to be easily accessible to all carers, regardless of their previous knowledge or training in emotional and mental wellbeing. It was brought to Knowsley and delivered to the first delegation of foster carers earlier this year by HeadStart Knowsley, a multi-agency initiative working to improve the mental resilience of young people in the borough.

Cllr See continued: “Caring for children who have experienced trauma or who are suffering from mental health issues is nothing new for foster carers, who do an excellent job and are committed to giving children all the support and care they can. Emotional First Aid training just gives them the extra tools and confidence to ensure the support they give is as appropriate and effective as it can be – it also helps them to cope with their own pressures.”

Delivered in six three and a half hour sessions, the Emotional First Aid training encourages participants to react and respond to emotional difficulties with the same skill and relevance as they would with a physical symptom. It also encourages them to think about their own emotional wellbeing, and how they cope with challenging, stressful or upsetting events.

Cllr See said: “The role of a foster carer is both rewarding but at the same time challenging and emotionally draining. So it’s important that we provide carers with the skills, tools and knowledge so they can look after their own wellbeing and resilience as well as the children in their care.”

Feedback from the foster carers who attended the course included:



Peter Murphy, Knowsley Council’s Director of Safeguarding and Social Care, said he believed delivering Emotional First Aid to Foster Carers would improve the experience of both children in care and foster carers, and could even help retain and recruit much-needed foster carers.

He said: “Times are changing rapidly and I am seeing more and more young people entering the care system with multiple needs.

“How we support our foster carers’ development is also changing, and providing carers with emotional resilience skills and coping strategies has been shown to not only increase the wellbeing of the carer but also strengthen their relationship with the young person in their care .

“I am convinced that this type of training is the way forward and will enable the council to not only retain foster carers but even encourage more people to commit to becoming a foster carer, knowing that this kind of support is available.”

Emotional First Aid courses are being delivered in Knowsley by Headstart Knowsley, which is a Big Lottery Funded initiative. For more information about these courses, contact Ken Harrison at ken.harrison@knowsley.gov.uk.





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New courses from Southampton Children’s Sleep Disorder Service

Our colleagues from Southampton Children’s Hospital are delivering more Sleep Training courses in 2017.

Please be aware these are not courses delivered by Solent NHS Trust/ Emotional First Aid team.  The details for applications for these courses are listed below.




In 2017, we will be introducing some new sleep training course options as well as offering two Update and Case Study Days.

Managing Children’s Sleep Disorders in Clinical Practice

This is our four day comprehensive sleep training course, although there is an option for Paediatricians and Psychiatrists to complete the first three days only. All other professionals including Health Visitors, School Nurses, Nursery Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Learning Disability Nurses, CAMHS workers, as well as those working in special education and social services will need to book for the full four days.

The course is designed to enable participants to understand the role of sleep in healthy child development, as well as understand the nature of sleep problems in children including those with disabilities. Completion of the course should enable practitioners to assess and identify common sleep problems in children, and support families in implementing sleep management programmes.

For All practitioners working with children where sleep issues arise

Cost £675

Date May 15, 16, 17 & 18 2017 and
October 17, 18, 19 & 20 2017
Please note the October 2017 course is now fully subscribed but applications are welcome for May 2018 course.

Date May 15 – 18 May 2018 (4 day course)
October 30 – 2 November 2018 (4 day course)

Venue Mercure Winchester Wessex Hotel, Paternoster Row, Winchester, SO23 9LQ

Breakfast, lunch and refreshments are included. Parking however is not included, although there are local car parks, park and ride and local transport links.

On each link it will tell you who the course is suitable for and what is included.

http://www.piernetwork.org/sleep-disorders-in-clinical-practice.html – 4 day courses

Essentials of Sleep Medicine for Paediatric Sleep Practice

This is an exciting new one day course covering the essential sleep disorders seen in everyday practice. The course aims to give General Paediatricians and Trainee Paediatricians a basic understanding and confidence to manage common sleep disorders and the ability to recognise rarer sleep disorders requiring specialist review.

For General Paediatricians and Trainee Paediatricians

Cost £125

Date June 22th 2017

Venue Southampton General Hospital

On each link it will tell you who the course is suitable for and what is included.

http://www.piernetwork.org/sleep-medicine-for-the-paediatrician.html – 1 day course

Update and Case Study Days

We are often asked by past course participants if we can provide some ongoing training and supervision and so we are introducing our Update and Case study day. There will two of these sessions a year and each will be different in its content. These days are designed to offer information on some of the latest research in the field of sleep, as well as some new presentations from members of our multidisciplinary team. In order to ensure that participants feel confident in their management of cases some time will also be spent looking at case studies. We will be asking participants who sign up for this course if they would like to submit a case study to be used on the day. As well as time to meet with other professionals currently working with families with sleep problems, there will also be time in which you will be able to discuss some of the tricky cases you may be working with, with members of the team.

For Anyone who has previously attended one of our sleep training courses

Cost £75

Date November 20 2017

Venue Mercure Winchester Wessex Hotel, Winchester, SO23 9LQ

Please see attached for further details and application form

With many thanks,

Lauren Bailey
Patient Pathway Coordinator for Paediatric Neurology and Sleep Service
Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Tel: 023 8120 5922
Fax: 023 8120 8688

1 day Paediatricians course application form 3 & 5 day Managing Sleeep Disorders course application form 2926 SCH Sleep Service A5 4pp Dec 15 v1 Update and Case Study Day application form

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Southampton University Primary PGCE EFA

Happy New Year everyone, may we wish you all the very best for 2016!

We just wanted to write a quick update to let you know that we have begun delivery of Primary EFA at Southampton University.

We have worked with the University of the last few years delivering workshops on the Health & Wellbeing days, and delivering saturday courses for PGCE students who have been interested in Emotional First Aid training.

After a successful course delivered to students last spring, PGCE students supported by Programme Leads Miranda Dodd and Jenny Byrne submitted a bid to enable all University Led Primary PGCE students (including P.E. & Maths Specialists) to attend Primary EFA Training as part of the their core PGCE curriculum.

Over the next six weeks we will be delivering four courses to all 52 University Led Primary PGCE students which will form a pilot study.

We are really excited to have been invited to deliver this work with students and the University and have already had a great week meeting students and sharing their enthusiasm.

We look forward to updating you all as we progress.

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The EFA Christmas Message 2015

2015 has been an incredible year for the EFA team.

We were going to try and write you a song in the vein of the ’12 days of Christmas’ but sadly we lack the musical talent, so instead we will just share with you some of our years highlights.

At the beginning of the year we welcomed 38 new trainers in Southampton who began delivering Parents, Primary, YP and Peer EFA courses as part of the the Big Lotteries Headstart initiative.

We were invited up to Knowsley by their own Headstart Project and met a fantastic group of staff from across Knowsley borough who are now delivering incredible courses to staff and with some wonderful feedback from Foster Carers about Parents’ EFA.

We returned to Buckinghamshire to train up two more staff as licensed EFA Trainers for the Service Children’s Support Network (SCSN).

We have been working on a new venture, Buddy EFA.  A course designed to explore emotions with 10 year old students, equipping them with the skills and confidence to buddy younger children in Primary School and have worked with 84 children from Portswood Primary and Townhill Park Primary schools in Southampton and Solent Juniors and Wimborne Primary Schools in Portsmouth. – we hope to finish the development of this course early in 2016 and look forward to telling you more about it.

We trained up eight staff from the Multi-Agency Behaviour Support team in Porstmouth to deliver Peer EFA across schools in Portsmouth.

We have delivered another successful Primary EFA course to Southampton University PGCE students, which has led to us being asked by Southampton University to deliver the course to all University Led Primary PGCE Students in January 2016, which we are incredibly excited about, and really look forward to sharing the feedback and findings with you.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all 12 students who took part in this course and advocated EFA becoming a core element of the PGCE curriculum and wish all of you the very best in completing your NQT year!

We were invited back to Plymouth by Ann Honey to deliver a Train the Trainers programme to staff who attended the initial Primary EFA training in 2014 and look forward to more developments in the coming year.

We were invited to the Isle of Man to deliver an intensive Train the Trainer course and are pleased to say that Isle is successfully delivering courses with tremendous feedback from staff in Youth Services and Education.

More recently we were asked to deliver a Primary EFA course to Education staff in Cornwall and we are really looking forward to the potential of returning to deliver further follow up training.

We were delighted to be asked to deliver 2 further Train the Trainer courses as part of Southampton’s Headstart Extension bid and have recently welcomed a further 8 YP EFA Trainers and 14 Parents’ EFA Trainers who will begin delivering courses in January 2016.

We are now half way through delivering Operation Bluelight: Child & Adolescent Mental Health training to Hampshire Constabulary and have delivered courses to approximately 170 Officers and Staff from the force.  We look forward to hosting the second part of this training in March 2016.

Finally, we have also been asked by Barton Peveril Sixth Form College to deliver a development group with students to create a Peer+ course, which adapts material from the Peer EFA course to students aged between 16-19.  We hope to share more news from this development once the work is completed.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported EFA over the past year and congratulate all our trainers who are delivering courses to promote well-being and early intervention towards Emotional Distress and Mental Health amongst Children, Young People, Parents and Staff, and we look forward to working with you all in the New Year!

Many thanks


The EFA Team

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EFA at the SSAT 2015 Annual Conference!

IMAG0431 IMAG0432 IMAG0433The EFA team are hosting a stand at this years SSAT National Conference held at Manchester Central. https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/whats-on-calendar/national-conference-2015/

We look forward to seeing you there!

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