New Mental Health Awareness Award gives pupils insight into potential careers

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and pupils from Trinity Academy in Edinburgh have been among the first in the country to work towards SQA’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

13 May 2024 - SQA - Categories: General

Features and developments

Pupils from Trinity Academy in Edinburgh have been among the first in the country to work towards SQA’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

The new SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) level 6 award compliments the level 4 and level 5 awards that are currently available.

Since September, a group of S6 and S5 pupils from Trinity Academy have been working towards the new award with hopes of it helping them stand out from the crowd in their university applications for Sociology, and Psychology degree programmes.

S6 pupil Rose Holligan opted for the level 6 award in her final year, as there wasn’t an option to study Psychology beyond Higher level.

Speaking about her choice, Rose said: “I studied Higher Psychology in S5, and I want to go on and study Psychology at university. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award at SCQF level 6 has given me the wee extra insight into what that will involve, and the topics and subjects regarding mental health that I will cover.”

Fellow pupil Sophie Cardozo is hoping the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award will give her a head start when she goes on to study Psychology and Sociology at university.

Sophie said: “I’m doing Psychology and Sociology at university after school, which the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award has really helped me work towards.

Sophie added: “I wrote about the work I’ve done on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award in my personal statement as part of my university application. It helped me demonstrate my interest in sociology and psychology, especially the Brain Health unit, which was my favourite part of the course.”

James Blackburn, also in S6, completed the level 5 course in S5, and said the level 6 course gave him a real insight into his own mental health and wellbeing.

He said: “I would recommend the course to anyone who wants to learn more about their own mental health and the mental health of others. Both the level 5 and level 6 courses have helped me understand how important it is to have positive approaches to challenging circumstances, how you can make changes yourself, and where to get help if you need it.”

Teacher Jasmine Kern has welcomed the flexible opportunities for study that the award enables. Jasmine said: “The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award level 6 has been a great addition to our timetable for students. The award is giving them a chance to supplement their knowledge and dial in on areas of mental health that are of interest to them.

Jasmine adds: “There’s also a degree of flexibility in the award too. As conditional uni offers were made, some of our group had to drop some of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award units, but they were able to continue with the stand-alone units that interested them the most, meaning they were able to keep up their studies.”

Iain Morrison, Head of Humanities, Care, and Services at SQA said: “We now have a route from SCQF level 4 through to level 6, giving learners at all stages the chance to work towards the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

“It’s a new award, so it’s great to see how schools like Trinity Academy are already using it, and tailoring how they deliver it to their learners. I’m looking forward to hearing how schools and other centres approach the course in the new session.”

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 13 – Sunday 19 May. More information is available on the campaign website.

For more information on SQA’s Mental Health and Wellbeing award at SCQF level 6, visit the website.

Information on the level 4, and level 5 Mental Health and Wellbeing awards is available here.