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A Bloom Journey – From Scepticism to Optimism

Supporting teachers and students in Highlands

Emma Slade, a teacher at Nairn Academy, delivering workshop 2 of the Bloom Programme

One teacher’s conviction and enthusiasm for the Bloom programme helped propagate the benefits further by welcoming us to her new setting at Nairn Academy (read more about support services in Highland). In a previous school, the teacher had been trained to deliver the Bloom programme and had first-hand seen the positive impact on students.

The enthused teacher commenced training two of her colleagues, after which our local Training Associate, Liz Newstead, co-delivered the programme of workshops. Liz has years of experience working in schools and often meets a degree of scepticism from schools about the effectiveness of an external programme. However, it was quickly overturned as staff, and students’ enthusiasm and engagement flourished with every workshop.

Liz observed, “As we started delivering the workshops, the progression of various concepts from one workshop to the next became clear and the teachers’ enthusiasm grew alongside the engagement of the students.”

Following the programme, John Chalmers, Deputy Head of Nairn Academy, confirmed he wanted 10 additional staff members trained to deliver the Bloom programme to the entire S2 year group. Admitting he had initially been sceptical, John was impressed by the breadth of the programme and the wealth of expertise and resources accessible to his staff: “from excellent training to dedicated and user-friendly resources – the programme has much to recommend it. Feedback from teachers (many of whom are very experienced PSE supporters) has been very positive.

“Nothing, in my experience, has matched, or even come close, to the added value of Bloom.”

– John Chalmers, Deputy Head of Nairn Academy.

“The topics covered go beyond the ‘normal’ school focus on ‘hard work and revision’ into destigmatising mental health and developing concrete strategies to support young people as they transition into adulthood.”. John also took part in a workshop and “had a personal revelatory ‘new’ understanding about [his] own life experiences.” John now firmly advocates that Bloom is more than a programme and is now the “Nairn Academy Way”.


Want to learn more about young people’s mental health resilience and the support we deliver to schools and colleges across Scotland?

If you need further information about Bloom or want to enquire about online training, resources or how we can help your school or college, contact the Bloom team.

Do you have any more questions about the support Change Mental Health delivers across communities in Scotland? Contact our  Advice and Support Service.



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