Teachers Thriving: How to Thrive

What’s the Big Change needed? 

We all want children and young people to feel good, function well and thrive in life. However, there are increasing concerns about children’s wellbeing in the UK:  according to a recent yougov poll 27% of students in the UK report having a mental health problem.[1]  Last year, on average 235,000 young people in England were in contact with NHS mental health services.[2] This is increasingly worrying because 75% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) start before age 18 and over half before age 14 a (Millennium Cohort Study, 2015).

Moreover, in the UK today teaching is facing a major crisis – a crisis that is seeing teachers fast becoming the most stressed workforce in the country; teacher attrition is at the highest ever recorded rate with more than a quarter of teachers turning to medication to cope with the stress of their work. According to a recent TES survey, over half of respondents to a poll on Teacher Wellbeing said their mental health was poor, fuelling concerns that teachers are increasingly unable to cope with the profession’s challenging demands.[3]

We have conducted a piece of research with Ten Years Time to determine some of the reasons that teachers are feeling stressed and experiencing poor mental health – at a system, school and individual level. You can read the full report here.

Currently, there is no system wide solution to help tackle the root cause of these problems in schools.  That is why we have decided to back How to Thrive.

What’s the Big Idea? 

How to Thrive proactively build mental and emotional resilience in schools. They provide the training, skills and resources needed to build resilience in both staff and students. Their programs are always practical, based on evidence and experience, and deliver deep and lasting change in young peoples behaviour and the ability to learn.  More importantly, their training is helping to address the root causes of mental health issues that are increasingly prevalent in our schools today.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the set of characteristics, abilities that enable the achievement of positive outcomes despite exposure to significant threat or adversity. Resilience enables you to overcome adversity, cope with stress and bounce back from setbacks so that you can achieve your goals.

What’s the solution?

How to Thrive deliver practical programs that teach resilience to transform behaviour and learning. Their resilience training is practical and effective because they always base it on solid research, theory and evidence. They teach real skills for the real world, which are transferable so they’ll last a lifetime.

Their main program is the PRP a curriculum developed by a team of psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania. Their resilience training consist of learning core abilities that compromise resilience such as emotional awareness, impulse control, optimism, empathy and reaching-out skills that help us all meet challenge, bounce back from failure and achieve one’s goals.

“Teachers are hopelessly overloaded and stressed. New = more work in most people’s minds. The PRP however, is something that could make teachers as well as students’ lives more fluent and enjoyable” A school teachers using PRP

What’s the proposed impact on young people?

When young people are more resilient they are able to deal well with difficult situations, make the most of opportunities, keep challenges in perspective, solve life’s problems easier, keep focused on what really matters and thrive in an increasingly complex world.

‘These classes have helped me stop having arguments and friendship problems with my friends, because we deal with them by ourselves’

What is Big Change doing?

Big Change will be supporting How to Thrive in scaling their Resilience Program across the UK. Our grant and support will help them both carry out some effective research in creating the demand for resilience training (awareness and take up of our products) and meeting their demand – building their capacity to tailor resilience training to more students and more staff.

How to Thrive have the experience an training tools to develop resilience in schools. However, currently they have limited reach. We are helping them to scale their impact, drive better outcomes for both teachers and young people to develop sustainable future income.

Find out more about How to Thrive at their website:


[2] .