Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) Training

Senior Mental Health Lead's in schools were previously known as Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Designated Senior Leads (DSLs). 


A two-day face-to-face training course for Senior Mental Health Leads, helping support you to implement a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. 

Level: Intermediate 

Cost: £1000 (free when covered by the DfE grant, see below for more information)

Course Code: SMH112

REWT are delivering Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) training. Our course has met the quality criteria to deliver grant funded SMHL training, assured by the Department For Education (DfE). 

We have been running our SMHL training since 2018. Between 2018-2024, we trained over 60 SMHLs across 50 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 does the training cover?

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 two days initial training, SMHLs will access half termly supervision sessions (face to face) and termly online workshops, be paired with another SMHL on your cohort and have a 6 month review visit. This creates more opportunities for SMHLs to problem solve around complex cases, receive further training, network and 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. 

Claudia Noel-Michael is REWT's lead SMHL trainer and will be present at each training day. Claudia is a Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist (EP) and Coordinator of Redbridge Educational Wellbeing Team (REWT).  Claudia has been an EP for 17 years and worked across 3 different local authorities. Claudia has a range of specialisms, but is particularly interested in supporting schools to make mental health and wellbeing a priority.  

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 continuous professional development through review meetings, conferences, consultation and supervision. We offer half termly supervision sessions which include peer networking, collaboration and interactive learning. We also offer termly online workshops.

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:

  • Sensory Wellbeing
  • Race and Equity 
  • Creating a Mindful School
  • Cultural Barriers to Mental Health 

Online workshop topics include:

  • Understanding and Working with Refugee and Asylum Seeker CYP
  • Understanding the Impact of Gambling on CYP
  • Understanding the Impact of ACEs

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 upcoming training dates are as follows:

Spring Term

  • Day 1- Thursday 11 January 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)
  • Day 2- Friday 26 January 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)

Summer Term (1)

  • Day 1- Thursday 18 April 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)
  • Day 2- Thursday 2 May 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)

Summer Term (2)

  • Day 1- Thursday 6 June 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)
  • Day 2- Wednesday 26 June 2024 (9.30am to 5pm)

Spaces are limited so please get in touch if you are interested. We will be adding further training dates starting from September so please check back soon. 

This SMHL training course is funded by the Department for Education. If you are an eligible state funded education setting you can apply for a DfE grant to cover the cost of the SMHL training. You will need to quote our course code, SMH112, when completing this application. Find more information about the funding and grant from the Department for Education.


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. 


SMHL Conference

Redbridge Educational Wellbeing Team (REWT) are very excited to have held our very first SMHL conference on 20 April 2023. It was a day full of networking, learning and development. We had workshops covering various topics including Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Trauma Informed Practice and Protected Behaviours and were lucky enough to have an amazing guest speaker, Serlina Boyd.

We have our next SMHL conference taking place on 14 March 2024. Keep an eye out for further details. We would love to see as many SMHLs there as possible from all over the country, so do spread the word. 



REWT are committed to ensuring our training is accessible. All trainees will be asked directly for any reasonable adjustments needed to ensure they are able to participate and to maximise their learning. Training materials are available in various forms and we are able to adapt the training to suit you. If you have any worries about the accessibility of our face to face training please do contact us so that we can discuss your options.

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