Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) Training

Please note that SMHLs in our schools were previously known as Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Designated Senior Leads (DSLs). 


Redbridge Educational Wellbeing Team (REWT) are now delivering Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) training as approved by the Department For Education (DfE). 

We have been running our SMHL training since 2018. Between 2018-2020, we trained 53 SMHLs in Redbridge, across 48 primary and secondary schools. Our SMHL training programme has proved to be highly successful, and our evaluative data highlights the strategic change and evidence for progress by all of our SMHLs. 


Redbridge Educational Wellbeing Team logo with tree detailing branches and roots


What SMHL Training Covers

By the end of the two-day intermediate level course, Senior Mental Health Leads (SMHLs) will be able to:

  • Put together a plan for a whole school approach to positive mental health and wellbeing
  • Be well equipped to lead on mental health and wellbeing, celebrate their existing processes and celebrate good practice already taken place in their school/college
  • Develop knowledge of early intervention and preventative activities for mental health
  • Have good knowledge of local provision, be informed about the most up to date, evidence-based best practice for positive mental health
  • Be able to incorporate positive mental health into the school curriculum to raise mental health awareness in their school/college
  • Examine how the parents, children and young people (CYP) and staff voice will help to shape the whole school approach
  • Understand the prevalence of mental health needs in their local area, develop knowledge of mental health outcome measures and barriers to accessing support for mental health e.g., cultural barriers and stigma

After the 2 days initial training, SMHLs will access half termly supervision sessions which creates opportunities for SMHLs to problem solve around complex cases, receive further training and opportunities to share good practice.


Who will be delivering the training?

All of our REWT SMHL trainers are highly experienced, and each training session is facilitated by a qualified Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist (EP) alongside Assistant EPs. 

Our REWT SMHL trainers keep abreast of current theories, research and interventions for positive mental health and wellbeing, carry out regular reviews of research, articles and resources. Our trainers work closely together, constantly updating their knowledge and sharing between them.


What happens after completing training? 

Our SMHL training course provides an excellent opportunity for peer networking, collaboration and interactive learning as after the 2 days training, we offer half termly supervision sessions. 

Each supervision session brings the SMHLs together to share good practice, to learn from each other and to problem solve around different areas of need.  These regular supervision sessions also mean that the SMHLs form a network who build supportive relationships with one another.

Supervision topics include:

  • Working with Refugee and Asylum Seeker Children and Young People 
  • Race and Equity 
  • Creating a Mindful School
  • Cultural Barriers to Mental Health 

We are open to hearing what topics our SMHLs feel would be useful to have further input on through supervision. 


Training Dates

Please note that trainees must attend both days of training. 

Our next training dates are as follows

  • Day 1: Thursday 22 September (9.30am to 5pm)
  • Day 2:  Thursday 6 October (9.30am to 5pm)

Spaces are limited so please get in touch if you are interested. 


This SMHL training course is funded by the Department for Education. Find more information about the funding and grant here.


If I have already completed Redbridge training previously as a DSL, do I need to do this training?

As an existing DSL/SMHL, you do not need to attend this training course. However, if you feel that you would like to refresh your knowledge and practice you are welcome to attend. 

If you have any further questions or would like to book a training place, please email us here

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