Dedicated to improving mental health in schools

How does it work?

The Peer Education Project (PEP) is a school-based, educational programme that aims to give young people the knowledge and understanding they need to safeguard their mental health, and that of their peers.

PEP offers an interactive five lesson mental health syllabus, covering basic mental health awareness, stigma and discrimination, staying well, seeking help and supporting friends. The lessons are offered to Year 7 students or equivalent (Peer Learners), with each student receiving their own printed workbook to complete.

The syllabus is delivered by Peer Educators – older students who are trained and supported by the school staff leading the project. Each Peer Educator will receive a printed handbook alongside the lesson slides.

There is an annual license fee for PEP of £200+VAT. This includes two staff training places, access to the online platform and printed copies of the project materials (Peer Educator handbook and Peer Learner workbook) for one cohort of students.

In addition to the five core PEP lessons, we have worked with The Ravensbourne School to produce an additional module on Body Image. This module, acting as a sixth lesson, covers what body image is and how to develop and maintain a healthy body image. This module can be added to the core annual PEP license for £20 +VAT and includes printed copies of the Peer Educator handbook and Peer Learner workbook, and all the other resources needed to deliver this lesson.

Since the programme started in 2015, it has shown promising improvements in the knowledge and attitudes of participating students.

Watch our video to find out how it’s working in schools so far…

“I realised after doing these sessions that I didn’t know much about mental health. It really helped me personally, and it was rewarding – and fun.”

- Peer Educator

Register today to introduce PEP into your school!

Register Today
Duke of Edinburg Lisenced

The Mental Health Foundation is licensed as an Approved Activity Provider by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the Volunteering section. Peer Educators can achieve the Bronze DofE Award for their role in the Peer Education Project.

Why is this needed?

The need for good mental health education early in life is clear. We know that:

A young person’s time in secondary school is a key opportunity to ensure that they have the skills, knowledge and attitudes they will need to preserve their own mental health, as well as that of their friends, and seek help when needed.

Why Peer Education?

Studies of peer-delivered health education suggest that peer educators can be effective because:

  • young people find them to be more credible sources of information than adult educators, presenting information in ways that are both clear and relevant
  • young people may feel more comfortable asking questions of peer educators
  • peer-delivered programmes can build on existing role-modelling and mentoring
  • peer education uses existing social networks to influence change, sustaining impact beyond the educational sessions themselves

Studies also suggest that there are also a number of benefits for the peer educators themselves, including:

  • the development of important public speaking and facilitation skills
  • improving their own self-confidence and esteem
  • improved knowledge about the topic at hand
  • recognition by their peers as leaders.
How well does it work?

Brief Feedback on the Project

  • By the end of the project, 95% of students reported that they “know what mental health means”
  • … 84% said that they know how to keep well mentally…48% reported that they “know what stigma means” – up from only 13% at the start of the project.
  • 72% of students said that they would “definitely” recommend that others take part, with a further 24% saying that they would “maybe” recommend it.
  • 66% said it was “very helpful” to learn from Peer Educators rather than their usual teacher

“The students enjoyed being taught by 6th formers and it was a relaxed, fun and positive way to introduce the concept of mental health”

- Teacher

Register today to introduce PEP into your school!

Register Today

Easy online access to everything you need

The PEP platform is designed to be a one-stop shop for the Peer Education Project. Register today to access the resources you will need to introduce mental health into your school curriculum.

“I think it was easier that they were close to our age – they understood our feelings a bit more”

- Peer Learner

Register today to introduce PEP into your school!

Register Today

All materials and resources within the Peer Education Project (PEP) are the Intellectual Property of the Mental Health Foundation.

The Mental Health Foundation’s intellectual property (PEP) is licensed to schools on an annual basis. Annual licensing permits secondary schools access to, and distribution of ,PEP materials to relevant student cohorts (one year group per year as Peer Learners; one cohort per year as Peer Educators), as prescribed by the project delivery model.

The PEP materials must be used in full as provided by the Mental Health Foundation and must not be altered or provided partially, without the express permission of the Mental Health Foundation.

Not sure if PEP is right for your school? Contact us today

Our team are here to advise and answer any questions you might have about the Peer Education Project.

For any queries simply fill in the form below and we will be in touch soon.

  • By submitting your contact information, you are consenting to your information being held by the Mental Health Foundation. We will contact you about the Peer Education project and our work with children and young people.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All information is held securely in accordance with the Mental Health Foundation’s Data Protection Policies.

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