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Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) with young people experiencing mental ill health

 Registration is closed for this event
Professional development training for relationships and sex educators. This training is the result of a 2 year pilot programme providing relationships and sex education within a tier 4 CAMHS secure adolescent inpatient unit. Built on the learning from this pilot the training will equip you with knowledge and skills to improve your general RSE practice and specifically help you get started in providing RSE with young people living with mental ill health.

1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder - that’s roughly 3 children in every classroom and only a quarter of them have contact with a mental health specialist (a). Not all of these young people will have severe problems but sadly many will experience significant difficulties, miss time from school and therefore any RSE they would have otherwise received. These young people deserve the same access to high quality RSE as any other group but with an approach that meets their educational profile. The pilot project showed that there are a number of ways that common RSE practices can be adapted to better meet these young people's needs. Picture of 4 post its showing love, ideas, brain and cloud

It is important to note that while there are still significant gaps in the research, young people experiencing mental ill health may have increased vulnerability to some issues. For example, it is reported that young people experiencing severe mental ill health are at a higher risk of contracting HIV (b), displaying sexually inappropriate or aggressive behaviour (c) and becoming a victim of child sexual exploitation (d).


Event details

Date: Wednesday 26th of February 2020

Time: 10.00am - 4.30pm

Venue: Chester (venue TBC depending on size of group)

Ticket Price: £120 per person 
(Current Esteem network members check the latest member email for a discount code.)

As development training, this event is only open to people already trained in providing relationships and sex education. If you have not been trained by acet UK in the past, you will be asked to provide evidence of your previous RSE training.


This training day will be facilitated by acet UK's Esteem network director, Gareth Cheesman. Gareth was originally trained as a JNC validated youth worker before moving into teaching relationships and sex education. Gareth has a decade of experience teaching relationships and sex education and is currently finishing a Masters in Public Health. Gareth has been working with a tier 4 CAMHS, secure adolescent inpatient unit for over 7 years providing PSHE sessions to supplement the core teaching staff's work. For the last 2 years Gareth has lead a pilot multi-session RSE programme in the unit and at a sister site. After multiple programme runs with different cohorts of young people, the learning from this pilot project has been developed into a training programme for other RSE workers. 

The course will help you to:

  • Support young people experiencing mental ill health to grow their knowledge and develop their attitude around key relationships and sex education topics
  • Understand some key mental ill health conditions and explore how these may impact your provision of RSE materials
  • Develop your small group facilitation skills with young people facing significant challenges
  • Consider how to better meet the needs of young people outside of mainstream education contexts 
  • Grow in confidence to plan and lead adaptive RSE sessions 
  • Explore the impact of non-formal educational activities in planned sessions

The day will be a mixture of taught theory, learnt experiences from the pilot and plenty of interactive activities for you, designed to put into practice the ideas and approaches you have gained from the day. In the afternoon, we will also have one of the CAMHS unit education staff, involved in the pilot project, join us for a Q&A session. It is intended that everyone who attends will leave with the knowledge and skills to expand their existing provision of RSE to young people outside of mainstream education  who are experiencing mental ill health. However, even if you don't end up working with these specific groups of young people, the information and skills covered in the day will help RSE educators improve their work with all young people. 

It is worth noting that this course will not 

  • Equip you to lead sessions about mental ill health (in general or with young people experiencing mental ill health) 
  • Teach you about providing RSE to young people with special educational needs or disabilities 

Please note that this event is only open to trained relationships and sex educators - please do not attempt to book onto this event if you are not trained in RSE. If you would like to hear more about our Esteem RSE training course please click here


a) NHS Digital (2018) ‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017’ Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2017/2017

b) Hackerman, A. E. (2002). Adolescent Inpatient Behavioral Health Clients: Risk Factors and Methods of Preventing an Increase in HIV Infection Among Youth. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 41(1), 28–44. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2164-490X.2002.tb00127.x

c) Zeanah, P. D., & Hamilton, M. L. (1998). Staff perceptions of sexuality-related problems and behaviors of psychiatrically hospitalized... Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 29(1), 49–64. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022683230527

d) Twill, S. E., Green, D. M., & Traylor, A. (2010). A Descriptive Study on Sexually Exploited Children in Residential Treatment. Child & Youth Care Forum, 39(3), 187–199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-010-9098-2

February 26th, 2020 10:00 AM   through   4:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
Development training fee per person £ 120.00