DISCOVER Overview

An innovative school-based workshop programme approach for 16 to 18s who experience anxiety, low mood and stress.

DISCOVER is a new, evidence-based mental health programme that is run in schools, to help students who are highly stressed, anxious and/or experiencing low mood. The aim of DISCOVER is to build their resilience and confidence, and help them to find ways to handle their difficulties.

Designed with young people, DISCOVER is an award-winning*, non-stigmatising approach for a wide range of student emotional and stress-related problems. DISCOVER has been delivered to over 2000 teenagers to date, in academies, grammar and private schools across London and the South East.

The programme provides up to date psychological advice and techniques for young people, in a confidential, workshop format within their school, and offers a mix of individual and group sessions. Evaluation is built into the programme, to enable the DISCOVER team and participating schools to review its impact on student wellbeing.

DISCOVER is delivered by a team of clinical psychologists from South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust, in partnership with school staff. The DISCOVER team also provides staff training and consultation in adolescent mental health and ways for schools to promote student emotional wellbeing. In addition, as part of sixth form PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) events we offer linked student seminars on:

  • the psychology of stress and wellbeing
  • building emotional resilience
  • managing exam stress and worry

These staff and student sessions can be delivered in tandem, to spread the learning from DISCOVER, and can be booked directly by schools.

*Awards

  • 2016 Award for Innovation in Practice from the British Psychological Society’s Faculty for Children and Young People
  • Guardian Public Health award in 2018

Coming soon

Widening our reach. We are pleased to be delivering DISCOVER to all sixth forms within the Harris Federation, as well as to a number of other schools in London and the south east. We are planning to spread DISCOVER’s reach to new UK regions in the next two to five years to reach more students in need.

Sustaining students’ wellbeing and mental health gains. Two sustainability initiatives are underway. Firstly, we now offer staff and student PSHE seminars on student wellbeing to schools on request, based on the key messages from the DISCOVER programme. We have developed a DISCOVER app, with funding from Maudsley Charity and other e-materials to help students maintain their emotional wellbeing once the programme ends.

Helping improve the mental health wellbeing of teenagers who are on the edge of care. With Maudsley Charity funding, we have undertaken an adaptation of DISCOVER, with the help of teenage care leavers. This version of DISCOVER will be made available to young people in the public care system to support their emotional resilience, in Lambeth and Croydon in 2020.

Running DISCOVER alongside CAMHS. With the help of a colleague Dr Christina Loucas, a clinical psychologist, DISCOVER has developed a successful clinic version of the DISCOVER workshop, for teenagers aged 15 to 18 who are on CAMHS waiting lists and are experiencing anxiety and low mood problems. This approach has been disseminated by Dr Winfred Chege and the DISCOVER team in Lewisham and Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), with the help of child wellbeing practitioners in the Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (CYP IAPT).

 



DISCOVER

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