Mental Health & Wellbeing

BEP is committed to enabling schools to become emotionally supportive and resilient communities for all its pupils.

BEP’s Mental Health & Wellbeing team was initially launched in December 2018 providing BEP with the opportunity to deliver on the aspects of the original BEP vision relating to school life and inclusion. This includes support to groups of young people that are struggling to thrive, provision around SEND students, support for staff mental wellbeing, reducing exclusions and strategic planning for positive inclusion in schools. This has coincided with a change to the OFSTED framework that has made inclusion a more important aspect of school life that requires additional specific strategic planning. The BEP Mental Health & Wellbeing service facilitates support in these areas.

BEP continues to work progressively around mental health in schools via the NewStart approach.  Based on an asset-building approach to resilience supported by Young Minds, NewStart supports schools at a universal level to build more emotionally supportive environments that are beneficial to all, whilst also identifying those pupils most vulnerable to poor emotional health and providing interventions that support them.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing team consists of experienced Secondary Headteachers, Primary mentors and highly qualified mental health professionals who have experience of working with a range of vulnerable groups.

Meet The Team

Anna Robinson

Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead – 

Anna Robinson has worked with vulnerable children, young people and families in Birmingham for a long time. She is currently the lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing at BEP, working with colleagues across the city to develop sustainable approaches to wellbeing in schools. 

Her interests are in the importance of resilience as the mitigating factor between wellbeing and mental distress and in helping people to develop a better understanding of the complex interplay of the past, reactions to the present and cumulative impact of relational exchanges over time.  As an integrative psychotherapist and supervisor, she is committed to the development of others’ psychoeducation and relational approaches to wellbeing.   

Sajda Butt

Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead –

Sajda has over two decades of experience in the early years, family support and mental health sector ranging from advocacy, delivering wellbeing training. Having led research into the mental health needs of South Asian young people in the B8 area of Birmingham, Sajda leads the National Lottery Community funded project created in response to the findings. 

Among Sajda’s many professional achievements include her work with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Pakistan where she delivered training to multi agency teams alongside parents as partners and setting up her own independent consultancy in business development through coaching and mentoring in 2012.  Sajda is a National trainer for Mental Health First Aid England as well as independently delivering all Adult and Youth Products and also holds a license to deliver Emotional First Aid, and more recently has become a national Tutor for Suicide First Aid.

Sajda enjoys reading and quality time outdoors.

Faye Whittle

Cross-phase SEND SLE & Inclusion Consultant – 

Faye is an independent Educational Consultant specialising in Inclusion and SEND.  As an experienced Inclusion/SEND leader in both the Primary and Secondary sector, Faye is well equipped to help SEND leaders, school leadership teams and collaborative school partnerships to plan and deliver inclusive practice. Faye is a qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator and a SEND Link Governor for a Birmingham Primary School.  She is passionate about working in partnership with schools to share good practice and improve outcomes for vulnerable learners.

As a SEND Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) Faye is committed to developing the capacity and capability of other SEND and Inclusion leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.

Mandy McCrohon

NewStart Strategic Wellbeing Lead & Education Consultant –

Mandy McCrohon joined the NewStart Team at its inception in September 2016 after cultivating more than 30 years’ experience working in Secondary Education, including 15 years in Leadership and 5 as Head of a Comprehensive in the north of the City. Now she works alongside leaders in a wide variety of Secondary schools across the City to develop and embed a whole school strategy to promote positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience for both students and members of staff. Mandy’s significant experience in complex and challenging school situations ensures that the support she offers is rooted in a deep understanding of school life, the need for pragmatism, a high regard for planning and a commitment to the importance of looking after people. Through NewStart, Mandy delivers an extensive training offer on topics including Self-harm, Loss, and Bereavement. Mandy is a Mental Health First Aider and is ASIST trained.

Outside of work Mandy is an avid reader, enjoys a wide range of sporting activities and travels frequently.

Anna Bateman

NewStart Strategic Wellbeing Lead & Education Consultant –

Anna Bateman in founder of the organisation, Halcyon Education which puts mental health and resilience at the heart of school improvement. She has 27 years’ experience as a Teacher, national and international trainer, consultant, and previously head of service for a transformative emotional literacy curriculum. Anna has been on two Interim Executive Boards, an associate lecturer and more lately a podcaster. The majority of Anna’s working week is spent actively working with Primary and Secondary school leaders on Newstart, BEP’s well regarded whole school mental health programme.

Susan Dancer

Early Help Senior School engagement Lead –

Susan Dancer has 35 years’ experience in education starting her career as a teacher of English then moving on to senior leadership roles in several secondary schools in the midlands.  Much of her leadership experience has been in pastoral work and safeguarding which is her main area of expertise although she has also led on staff development and teaching and learning.  In addition to this she has quality assurance experience gained as a Network Coordinator for East Birmingham Schools covering a range of AP provisions. Susan has also served as an advisor for drugs and health education in Derby and was involved in the development of Citizenship in its early stages.

Since joining BEP in January 2021 she has been working on projects to do with Early Help in the city, has taken on strategic senior lead role for a group of secondary schools and is working with partners to deliver the Peer Mentoring section of the South Asian Young People’s Mental Health Projects.

When not working she can be found in the garden, cooking or walking the dog.

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