An innovative school-based workshop programme for sixth form students who experience anxiety, low mood and high stress.

DISCOVER ‘How to Manage Stress and Worry’ is an award-winning, evidence-based mental health programme that provides psychological support for students who are experiencing anxiety, high stress and/or low mood. DISCOVER aims to build teenagers’ resilience and help them handle ongoing academic and/or personal stresses, including procrastination, poor sleep, excess worrying, relationship difficulties, low motivation and time management.

DISCOVER has been delivered to over 5000 teenagers to date, in academies, state secondaries, grammar and private schools across London and the South East. The service aims to reach young people who find it hard to access mainstream specialist psychological support. The DISCOVER staff team, comprised of specially trained clinical psychologists, run the programme within the school,in partnership with teachers, to make the programme as accessible as possible to young people from all backgrounds.

DISCOVER provides evidence-based psychological advice and techniques, based on Cognitive Behaviour therapy, set in a workshop format. Each student also has a 1:1 session with the DISCOVER psychologists before and after the school workshop, to personalise the intervention to individual needs.  DISCOVER participants get access to our DISCOVERbot, a web-based app that supports young people to maintain their goal progress, and their continued use of the DISCOVER techniques. The DISCOVER team has also created an online version of DISCOVER to reach young people out of school. A 50-minute DISCOVER Emotional Wellbeing assembly to promote sixth formers’ resilience, based on the DISCOVER approach, is also available.

Evaluation is built into the DISCOVER programme, to enable the DISCOVER team and participating schools to review its impact on students’ mental health and their learning. Each school receives a detailed report at the end of the programme, which summarises the students’ mental health outcomes and the work undertaken by the team to help them achieve their goals. The DISCOVER reports can be used for OFSTED and other auditing purposes.

We are now funded to run DISCOVER programmes in Lambeth and Lewisham state-funded schools within the Trust catchment area, in addition to our work within schools across London and the south east.

Other DISCOVER School resources

All of these can be booked directly by schools:

  • The DISCOVER Emotional Wellbeing assembly session: This 50 minute session can be delivered in person or online, to whole sixth forms or to smaller groups of students. It provides a brief overview of the science underlying stress and anxiety, and an outline of evidence-based techniques to improve students’ capacity to organise their work lives and stay motivated; maintain a healthy work-life balance and seek support; manage fears and worries; get a good night’s sleep.
  • Teacher training in the core DISCOVER approach: In response to requests, we have created a downloadable 7 lesson pack of DISCOVER resources to support sixth form teachers in their delivery of Emotional wellbeing and Mental Health PSHCE Key Stage 5 tutorials.
  • Teacher INSET sessions: these cover various aspects of adolescent mental health and student emotional wellbeing can be provided in person or online. Topics include; the psychology of stress and wellbeing; building emotional resilience; managing exam stress; tackling perfectionism and anxiety. Presentations can be tailored on request.

Widening our reach

The DISCOVER team helped to create 'Reset and Rewind', a series of short films featuring rap artists talking about their mental health and sharing wellbeing tips. The five films, created by TOAD and commissioned by Channel 4 and the BFI, feature artists Konan, Krept and Ms Banks exploring trauma, grief and body image.

Channel 4: Reset and Rewind

  • BESST research trial: the BESST research trial, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, DISCOVER is being delivered and evaluated in 60 schools; in London, Wiltshire, Cheshire and Northamptonshire, between 2021-2024. This researchl is led by Dr June Brown, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Kings College, London University. For more information, please contact
  • Helping improve the mental health and wellbeing of care leavers aged 16-19: with Maudsley Charity funding, we have adapted DISCOVER to provide new accessible mental health support to care leavers, to help them tackle anxiety, low mood and stress-related difficulties. A pilot study is being piloted in Medway Children’s Services during 2022.
  • Running DISCOVER alongside CAMHS: DISCOVER developed a successful clinic version of the DISCOVER workshop, for teenagers aged 15 to 18 who are on CAMHS waiting lists. This clinic version has been run in Lewisham and Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).


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