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Place2Be partners with St Mary's University College, Belfast on teacher education

Place2Be has partnered with St Mary’s University College Belfast to ensure that future teachers in Northern Ireland are equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding to support their pupils’ mental health.

St Mary's University College Belfast logo

From September 2018, 150 final-year teaching students at the University participated in Place2Be’s CPD-accredited Mental Health Champions – Class Teacher programme, potentially benefiting thousands of children and young people nationwide.

This partnership represents Place2Be’s first venture in Northern Ireland.

This independently evaluated programme has been proven to increase new teachers’ ability and confidence in identifying and supporting pupils with mental health needs, as well as improving personal wellbeing for teachers.

Teachers desperately want to support their pupils, but often lack the confidence or knowledge about where to start Catherine Roche, Place2Be Chief Executive

Dr Martin Hagan, FHEA, Head of Education at St. Mary’s University College, said:

"Working with the experts from Place2Be provides the student teachers at St Mary's University College with an excellent opportunity to raise their awareness and understanding of this most important aspect of professional learning and practice.

"We are delighted to be in partnership with Place2Be and believe that this initiative will help ensure that our future teachers will be able to provide young people across Northern Ireland with the understanding, support and care they deserve at the most vulnerable points in their lives."

Professor Peter Finn, Principal of St Mary’s University College, added:

"We believe that the specialist training will be of long-term benefit to the student teachers in their professional careers whether they take up posts here, in Britain, elsewhere in Europe or in the Middle East."

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive Officer at Place2Be, said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with St Mary’s University College on this vital project. Our experience of working in UK schools has shown that teachers desperately want to support their pupils but often lack the confidence or knowledge about where to start. We don’t believe that teachers should have to become mental health experts. Still, by empowering them with the right tools and skills, we can ensure that more children and young people across Belfast and beyond get the support they urgently need."

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