Supporting pupil mental health: Addiction and substance use

This bitesize CPD collection is part of a series of online micro learning units for teachers and school leaders on supporting pupil mental health and wellbeing in practice. The units offer insights into best practice in supporting children and young people, building on the latest evidence base. They are designed to develop knowledge around a range of topics that now form part of the statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, supporting teachers to consider how they might most effectively deliver these topics as part of the curriculum. Specifically, topics covered include:


These online micro learning units incorporate a range of content types to support professional learning and reflective practice, including:

  • Recordings from ‘Pedagogy in practice’ – a webinar series developed in partnership with The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) with a focus on how to teach key topics aligned with the RSHE curriculum
  • Access to a Padlet with ideas and resources shared by teachers
  • Case studies from practising teachers and school leaders and research reviews summarising the latest evidence base
  • Reflective questions to support learning and reading lists signposting further sources and support.


This online learning is being supported by the Bupa Foundation and the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).


This webinar included presentations by Helen Masters MCCT (Director of SEND and Safeguarding, Chiltern Learning Trust), and Steven Porter (Alternative Learning and Progression Service (ALPS), Luton Borough Council) as well as a panel discussion with Jan Forshaw (Head of Education, Coram Life Education) and Jonathan Baggaley (CEO, PSHE Association). More details can be found on the event page.


Webinar transcript download


The Padlet below was used during the webinar to share ideas and resources:


Made with Padlet



This article on the early identification and intervention for children developing atypically discusses the relationship between different types of childhood adversity and mental health.

Why are early identification and intervention important for children developing atypically? A neuroscience perspective

Research summary

This article summarises research into school-based programmes to reduce and prevent substance use.

School-based programmes to reduce and prevent substance use in different age groups: What works for whom?

Reflective questions

Having watched the webinar, engaged with the Padlet and read the research summary, consider the following questions:

  • In what ways has this learning resonated with your existing knowledge about addiction and substance use or perhaps shifted your thinking?
  • How will you identify and address misconceptions around addiction and substance use in your setting?
  • What strategies do you currently use to engage parents in the education of addiction and substance use? What new strategies might you begin to apply in your context?
  • How will you ensure that all members of staff are aware of the signs of addiction and substance misuse and the supportive conversations they can have with students?
  • How do you address the topic of addiction and substance use across the curriculum?


Accessing support

Support and advice: Pupil mental health