School mental health programme shortlisted for national teaching award

A mental health programme that has impacted nearly 30,000 children in 50 schools across Northamptonshire and beyond has been shortlisted for a national teaching award.

The LightBulb Mental Health Programme, launched in 2021, is delivered by staff from the St Andrew’s Healthcare’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) College. St Andrew’s Healthcare is one of a series of healthcare providers in Northamptonshire that is involved in the Best of Both Worlds campaign to encourage people to come and live and work in Northamptonshire by delivering innovative projects like these that benefit the community.

The LightBulb programme was created to help young people understand and identify mental ill health and the different feelings and thoughts they may experience as they grow up.

The initiative also provides participating schools with the skills and support so they can demonstrate and showcase excellence regarding mental health practice.

The LightBulb team, who have been praised for their innovative approach which focuses on the “power of prevention” was nominated for a Pearson National Teaching Award in the Impact Through Partnership category and have been shortlisted, having been asked to present for two hours about how the programme has helped children and their teachers.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity. Now in its 25th year, it recognises the life-changing work that takes place in education, highlighting the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools and colleges every day.


CAMHS College Headteacher and LightBulb Founder Cheryl Smith said: “We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for this top award and we’re very proud that the panel have seen the benefit in LightBulb.

“Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, but despite that it is very often overlooked in schools. Physical education is a mainstay part of the National Curriculum, but mental health education has still not been included, this is despite figures which suggest that six out of 10 children within a classroom will experience an issue with their mental health at some point.

“Young people have so much to cope with nowadays, there are the usual worries childhood stresses such as exams, revision, navigating peer pressure at school, but now they have the added challenges that come with social media and being online. We need to start prioritising mental health among our children, because as a team, LightBulb firmly believes that prevention is power.

“The LightBulb Mental Wellness Programme has been created to give schools and parents the skills and resources to spot an issue before it starts developing into a bigger problem. It’s so important that we take great care of children and their minds, making sure they can recognise when they may need a bit of a helping hand.”


LightBulb is an initiative that is available all year round and provides the participating school with mental health awareness and support training for all school staff as well as sessions for both parents and students. Each session talks about symptoms, support and signposts resources.


The LightBulb programme is suitable for both primary and secondary schools up and down the country. St Andrew’s Healthcare is a charity and therefore the programme is not a profit-making initiative, which means the pricing structure has been created to ensure it is affordable to all schools:

Primary school with up to 200 students    £200

Primary schools with over 200 students    £400

Secondary Schools                                         £800

For more information or to sign up to the LightBulb Roadshow email

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