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Targeted Mental Health in Schools - TaMHS

Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS)

The Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) project aims to improve mental and emotional health in children and young people, focussing on both staff training and interventions with pupils. 

TaMHS Project Phase IV

TaMHS Phase 1 was a national project, funded by the Government, which was introduced to 11 Wokingham schoolsbetween 2010 and 2011. Wokingham Children’s Services continued funding TaMHS from March 2011 to date and TaMHS is now delivering Phase IV of the Project between April 2013 and July 2014.  Phase IV includes four key strands of work as follows: 

Emotional First Aid – This training, relevant to all key stages, supports staff in building confidence in children and young people in emotional distress. This six half day training course is open for all school staff in Primary and Secondary schools. See www.emotionalfirstaid.co.uk for more details.

‘The course was facilitated excellently and I was able to gain a deeper understanding of children's behaviour.’ (Wokingham Staff Participant 2011)

Fun Friends and Friends For Life are 12-week programmes that can be used across KS1 and KS2 to develop emotional resilience and prevent childhood anxiety. This two day training course is for KS1 and KS2 teachers so that they are confident to deliver the programme in school. Teachers will also be supported by the Wokingham Educational Psychology Service who will help schools plan the programme and involve parents.

'I was feeling upset so I did my milkshake breathing.' (Child Participant 2011)

Nurture Assistants The course trains staff (LSAs/TAs) to support young people to develop their own emotions, to understand the emotions of others, help raise their self-esteem and focus on better learning. Supervisions are also provided to trained Nurture Assistants three times a year, where staff can exchange ideas and are supported by Wokingham Educational Psychology Team.

‘When I am here (Nurture room) I feel like I matter.’(Child Participant 2012)

Exam Stress Groups: These groups are a therapeutic intervention of 8 one hour weekly groups for young people in secondary schools. The group therapy is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy principles and is supportive in addressing anxiety specifically around exams.

‘It helped me to be more rational with a lot of things, I don’t worry as much.’ (Child Participant 2012) 

Aims of the project

The 4 aims of the TaMHS project are:

1. To develop and extend whole school approaches to improve emotional health and wellbeing for the whole school community

2. To develop systems for the early identification of groups, and individual children and young people who have precursors that may lead to emotional distress and potential mental health problems

3. To develop and deliver a range of evidence based interventions for these identified children and their families; and

4. To sustain TaMHS interventions and courses with charging infrastructures linked to the Children’s Services Traded Services model of working.


TaMHS Training Dates

For more information on TaMHS courses please follow the link below to the training pages elsewhere on this site.  Each course has a link to the booking form:


Or ring Judy Bond on 0118 974 6197 or email judy.bond@wokingham.gov.uk

TaMHS Evaluations

TaMHS has been evaluated between 2010 and 2011 (Phase I) and 2011 and 2012 (Phase II) and feedback from staff and pupils has been very positive.

Project interventions have reached over 3,000 children and young people aged between 4 and 19. Reported outcomes for children and young people include reduced anxiety and anger, better friendships, better access to learning and increased coping skills.

88% of Wokingham schools have been involved in TaMHS. Over 500 staff have been trained in TaMHS courses in Wokingham Borough schools. Improved outcomes for staff include increased confidence and competence at supporting children in emotional distress and improved outcomes for schools include a commitment to programmes to identify and support vulnerable children and young people in school.