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Supporting children’s wellbeing

16 October 2019

The first annual conference and graduation ceremony for government employees who support children and young people’s emotional mental health and wellbeing through the ELSA programme takes place tomorrow.

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training, has been offered to all Jersey schools for several years now and, currently, around 70 now actively work in our schools.
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec and Education Group Director Seán O’ Regan will celebrate the ongoing success of the programme, and present new graduates with their certificates, at a conference at Highlands College tomorrow. 

ELSA training and clinical supervision is offered by the Psychology and Wellbeing Service and is co-delivered by the Educational Psychology and Wellbeing teams. 

Dr Michelle Vaughan, Head of Psychology and Wellbeing, said: “The ELSA programme draws together many of the elements we know can make a difference for children and young people, and for the adults that care for and work with them. 

“The training programme itself explores raising awareness around emotional literacy, self-esteem, active listening and communication skills, anger management, social skills, friendships and working therapeutically. Once trained, ELSAs must attend clinical supervision and engage in continuing professional development every six weeks to become registered and retain this status. ELSAs are able to work on a one-to-one basis and with small groups working therapeutically, offering emotional check-ins and building skills contributing to a more positive sense of mental health and wellbeing.”

The Emotional Literacy Support Assistants work in both primary and secondary schools. Their work is designed to help schools build their capacity to support the emotional needs of their students by helping young people to recognise, understand and manage emotions to increase success.

Jersey is now affiliated to the ELSA network, enabling all Jersey ELSAs to access a protected online platform to share ideas with colleagues all around the UK and benefit from a protected online space in Jersey for colleagues to network and support one another further. The Psychology and Wellbeing Service remains committed to delivering ELSA training to new cohorts on an annual basis in order to sustain the programme for any school wishing to participate. ​

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