Projects and interventions for a happier school life

Image: Markus Spiske / Unsplash.com

In the last few years, health – and particularly mental health – issues have multiplied among young people on a global scale. School is the perfect place to develop the competence needed for good physical and mental health: these four projects represent an effort to improve the overall well-being of students.

UPRIGHT: Intervention to Improve Young People’s Mental Health

UPRIGHT slider

UPRIGHT is a research project funded by the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 programme. The acronym stands for “Universal Preventive Resilience Intervention Globally implemented in schools to improve and promote mental Health for Teenagers”. The aim of the project is to develop a mental well-being culture in schools in five European regions, by co-designing, delivering and validating a training programme on mental resilience. This is done through a whole-school approach supporting adolescents and their families, as well as education professionals. The designers of this training programme included education psychologists and ICT experts from around Europe.

UPRIGHT is based on four main components:

  • coping (the way people behave when confronting stress);
  • efficacy (the ability to produce a desired result);
  • social and emotional learning (the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions), and
  • mindfulness (paying attention to what is going on now, both within us and around us).

For each component, there is a theoretical part, followed by a practical one. By putting these skills into practice in their everyday life, pupils improve their own well-being, and that of their families.

BOOST: Promoting Mental Health Resilience

children playing on the ground

BOOST

is the product of a collaboration involving multiple partners in health research, education and policymaking. It seeks to create an innovative strategy in order to enhance pupils’ mental health and well-being by strengthening their social and emotional skills. BOOST is funded by the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 programme. It launched in January 2018 and has a duration of 4 years.

The main aim of the project is to develop, implement and test a new Social and Emotional Learning-based population approach to promote mental health and well-being in primary school children; specifically, those from different cultural and socio-economic contexts, and with different educational needs and vulnerabilities. The approach is designed to be applied by teachers in mainstream school environments, thus increasing resilience and supporting mental well-being in large and diverse populations of children.

Feel Well, Learn Better

Feel Well, Learn Better

(ABMA) was a pilot programme in France that was conducted in primary and secondary schools for three years (2013-2016). It addressed absenteeism and social issues by promoting harmonious interactions and well-being among pupils and staff. It also aimed to improve the consistency between existing health and citizenship education actions. Nineteen schools participated, undertaking changes in their organisation, operation, notification and prevention approaches relating to health topics, following the advice of the project team.

The results indicated a clear improvement in the school environment, characterised in particular by a more positive atmosphere and by increased cohesion and consistency.

Healthy Generations

child in front of a computer's screen

In the eTwinning project Healthy Generations, students explore various aspects of food and nutrition, so as to understand their relation to growth and health. To that end, they identify the human body and its components and digestion process, and then the food groups and their characteristics.

The project aims to improve students’ critical thinking, along with their ability to solve problems, encouraging quick and practical solutions. It promotes creativity and innovation in the learning of scientific concepts in the fields of food and nutrition. Furthermore, Healthy Generations establishes the link between good nutrition and sustainable development in students’ consciousness, as well as raising awareness about healthy eating. As a result, students are more conscious of their food choices and increasingly aware of how to maintain their health. The project has been awarded the eTwinning Quality Label.

To discover ongoing and past EU-funded projects in school education, please go to the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.
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