States of Mind

Led by Bea Herbert

States of Mind was initiated through a half-day workshop in July 2017 which brought together mental health professionals, teachers, social innovators and young people to explore possible ways of promoting wellbeing to young people in schools, and especially reaching out to young people of secondary school age. The pathway that was agreed was to engage young people in schools and colleges to promote awareness amongst the student body and to develop and implement their own solutions.

With the support of two private donors, we worked with six schools in North London and Essex in 2018-19, and added 6 schools and colleges in Newham with the support of the Council’s education department. The Newham programme was extended and continues, moving on-line during Covid-19. Research was undertaken in 2019-20 to understand better the main causes of mental distress, which highlighted exam stress as a primary contributor. This led to “The Alternative Ofsted Project”, which invited young people to explore ways of assessing school performance which put less stress on exam results and more emphasis on wellbeing and happiness. This project was developed with support from the Institute of Education, starting in 2020 and running for 2 years.

States of Mind was established as a CIC in 2018. It has received grants from the National Lottery (Awards for All, and a larger grant for a programme of work with the Foyer Federation), from Newham Council as well as being supported by CIVA. States of Mind has created a programme called “Selfology” which will be launched during 2021-22, and some effort will be placed on using this to generate funds for the project.

For more information, see the website: