College mental health self-evaluation tool (C-MET)

White curve

A simple, effective way to measure and improve mental health and wellbeing in colleges

C-MET is an interactive online platform produced as a result of a partnership between the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the Charlie Waller Trust. This tool supports Further Education institutions in their responsibility to create an environment that promotes the mental wellbeing of students and staff.

C-MET is evidence-based and supports our whole college approach to mental health. It is adapted from the AoC mental health toolkit (2017).

C-MET covers each of the 10 domains for a whole college approach to mental health and wellbeing and allows you to rate how you are doing in each area using red, amber or green (RAG) ratings. You can complete C-MET annually and keep a record of the previous years, to show progress over time.

Read more about the 10 domains below.

To find out more and access the C-MET, please email hello@charliewallerselfevaluation.org

Section 1: Leadership and Management

Support from the senior leadership team is essential to ensure that efforts to promote emotional health and wellbeing are accepted and embedded. This section focuses on the high-level policies and procedures as well as the governance of the college's approach. This section should have input from governors and the senior management team as well as the designated Senior Mental Health Lead.

Section 2: Ethos and Environment

The physical, social and emotional environment in which staff and students spend a high proportion of every week has been shown to affect their physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing as well as impacting on attainment. Relationships between staff and students, and between students, are critical in promoting student wellbeing and in helping to engender a sense of belonging to and liking of college. This section should include input from a cross section of staff and students' representatives from across the college.

Section 3: Curriculum

College based programmes of social and emotional learning have the potential to help young people acquire the skills they need to make good progress as well as benefit student health and wellbeing. Opportunities exist to develop and promote social and emotional skills through both a curriculum dedicated to social and emotional wellbeing and the wider curriculum. This section should include input from teaching staff and students' representatives from across the college.

Section 4: Student voice

Involving students in decisions that impact on them can benefit their emotional health and wellbeing by helping them to feel part of the college and wider community and to have some control over their lives. At an individual level, benefits include helping students to gain belief in their own capabilities, including building their knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and developing their independence. Collectively, students benefit through having opportunities to influence decisions, to express their views and to develop strong social networks. This section should include input from students from across the college.

Section 5: Staff development and support

It is important for staff to access training to increase their knowledge of emotional wellbeing and to equip them to be able to identify mental health difficulties in their students. This includes being able to refer them to relevant support either within the college or from external services. The report of the Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce recommends that staff working with children and young people in universal settings, including colleges, should receive training in children and young people's development and behaviours but should not be expected to replace specialist service. This section should include input from staff from across the college.

Section 6: Targeted support

Some young people are at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health. For example, those who are in care, young carers, those who have had previous access to CAMHS, those living with parents or carers with a mental illness and those living in households experiencing domestic violence. Delays in identifying and meeting emotional wellbeing and mental health needs can have far reaching effects on all aspects of the lives of young people, including their chances of reaching their potential and leading happy and healthy lives as adults. This section should include input from staff with a pastoral role within the college.

Section 7: Parents and Carers

The family plays a key role in influencing young people's emotional health and wellbeing. There is strong evidence that well implemented universal and targeted interventions supporting parenting and family life, that offer support for a combination of emotional, parenting and practical life circumstances, have the potential to yield social as well as economic benefits. This section should include input from staff with a pastoral role within the college.

Section 8: External partnerships

Colleges cannot meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of their whole student population all of the time. It s vital that strong links exist with relevant parts of the health and social care system, including the voluntary and community sector. This section should include input from staff with a pastoral role within the college.

Section 9: Audit and Evaluation

Effective evaluation and tracking of the work undertaken is key to understand the impact of work done. This section should include input from senior managers and governors.

Section 10: Transitions

College has many transition points for students. Young people leaving school and coming to college, students moving from college to university or work. Colleges will have support in place to support students through these transitions and may want to consider how they provide targeted support for students who may have diagnosed mental health difficulties or may be deemed vulnerable for other reasons. This section should include input from staff with responsibility around transition.

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