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Youth Mental Health: Supporting Young People Using a Trauma Informed Practice

Learn supportive skills from counsellors, youth workers, and mental health professionals to aid young people’s mental wellbeing.

4,099 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour

Discover expert advice from the Mental Health Foundation

This course will teach you different ways you can support young people who have experienced trauma, focussing on using a Trauma Informed Practice.

Developed alongside professionals at the Mental Health Foundation, this useful framework was initially used to support young people returning from COVID lockdown. However, the resource can also be used to help you support young people who might be going through a period of stress or trauma.

Understand Adverse Childhood Experiences

You’ll start by examining Adverse Childhood Experiences – a widely-used term in child mental health and education. Though the pandemic has been a traumatic experience for many young people, it is not the only source of trauma and so learning how to discuss childhood experiences that could have contributed to trauma is extremely beneficial.

You’ll also evaluate the role of physical health and the ways you can support young people in maintaining their emotional wellbeing when faced with stress or trauma.

Discover the different factors that affect mental wellbeing during COVID-19

As lockdowns start to ease, you’ll consider how young people will cope with the transition back to ‘normality’ and learn the ways you can help them manage these difficulties.

You’ll also discover how awareness about COVID-19 and wider global crises, living conditions, and peer isolation impacts young people.

Learn how to help foster a positive mindset

Finally, you’ll explore the benefits of a positive mindset and how you can help young people remain positive during times of stress.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to explain some of the underlying factors that contribute to a young person’s wellbeing and the actions you can take to support a young person to make positive changes for their mental health.


  • Week 1


    • Starting the PEP TALK journey

      Get started by discovering what PEP TALK is and who made this course.

    • Adverse Childhood Experiences

      Adverse Childhood Experience or ACEs is a term that has come into wider use lately in the areas of child mental health and education. COVID has been a traumatic experience for most young people, but it is not the only source.

    • P: Physical Health

      The first aspect of PEPTALK is the 'P' for Physical Health. We'll investigate this from three perspectives - physical activity, eating habits, and sleep.

    • E: Emotional Wellbeing

      In this activity, we explore how we can support young people to maintain their emotional wellbeing when faced with stress and trauma.

    • P: Peer Relationships

      In this activity we look at the social limitations and feelings of isolation young people have experienced due to time away from their peers.

    • Weekly review

      Let's recap the week and get ready for Week 2.

  • Week 2


    • What's happening in Week 2?

      In this short activity we reflect on our learning from last week, and find out what's coming up in the second part of the course.

    • T: Transitions

      The nationwide lockdown brought a halt to daily life. As the lockdown eases, how can we support young people to manage the difficulties in this transition back to 'normality'?

    • A: Awareness

      How does awareness about the COVID virus and wider global crises impact young people? These steps explore the psychosocial pressures faced during the pandemic.

    • L: Living conditions

      A student’s home life and the relationships they have within the home could be difficult. These steps explore the challenges they may have faced during lockdown.

    • K: Keep it positive

      How can we help young people remain positive during times of stress? We explore the benefits of a positive mindset.

    • Course wrap-up

      In these final steps, we look back at the key learnings on this course and share ideas for what to do next.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain some of the underlying factors that could contribute to a young person's wellbeing.
  • Identify the actions and role they can take in supporting a young person.
  • Assess the wellbeing of a young person by selecting appropriate domains from the PEPTALK guide.
  • Engage a young person in developing strategies to effect positive changes to their life.

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone working with children or young people who they feel may be experiencing difficulty transitioning back to full-time education after a period of absence or difficulty in their personal or family lives.

Who will you learn with?

Since graduating from QMUL, I have been consistently working with young people with varying needs, across different settings.

Who developed the course?

Mental Health Foundation

The Foundation works to prevent mental health problems. We drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives, with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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