How I used my Masters research to improve mental health interventions in schools
Student spotlight | Adam Gillett, MA School Leadership in Mental Health and Wellbeing
Adam Gillett, MA School Leadership in Mental Health and Wellbeing alumni, shares with us the positive impact his studies have had on his career. For the past six years, Adam has been working as the Assistant Principal in a semi-rural school. In charge of behaviour, pastoral care, attendance, mental health and charity at the school, Adam also teaches history and politics at GCSE and A level.
- Course: MA School Leadership in Mental Health and Wellbeing
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you've been doing since you graduated
Since I graduated from Leeds Beckett, I have applied the skills which I learnt within the MA not only to my own school but also to assist other schools across the local authority. I have been helping to change the approach to early intervention around mental health and have been working with various local authority agencies to do this.
Using the research I completed at Leeds Beckett, I’ve been able to develop a model to assess mental health interventions, and in the post-pandemic world, I’ll utilise this to direct and develop my department improvement plan, which will make a real difference to the students at our school.
What have been the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
The highlight has been when I was asked to take part in an expert research group around mental health, to support the Department for Education (DfE) in developing the mental health support team roll-out. I was particularly proud of this as I was able to help make a difference on a national level.
I am also really proud to have completed the MA whilst having a busy job, completing it during the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst also looking after my two little ones. This is probably also the most challenging thing: trying to complete my day job, be a good dad and husband, and also complete the MA. It was totally worth it though.
How has your experience studying a Masters at Leeds Beckett influenced you and your career?
I am now far more analytical and take an evidence-based approach to what I do. I study information I get and use it to plan, implement and then assess. I am far more aware of the challenges around mental health and what other countries are doing to tackle it.
What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?
Do it! It has really changed my mentality, my work practices and me as a person. It is hard work and you will have to give up parts of weekends, evenings and holidays. However, once you are in the swing of it this isn’t an issue. Get the support of your school as this will really help and make sure you focus on areas which will benefit you and your school.
What's next for you?
I am really keen to explore a PhD in Mental Health and Education as it is something I am really passionate about. However, I think I am going to have a year off, enjoy spending a bit more time with my family, and then go again!
Adam Gillett is a MA School Leadership in Mental Health and Wellbeing alumn. Adam has been working as the Assistant Principal in a semi-rural school. In charge of behaviour, pastoral care, attendance, mental health and charity at the school, Adam also teaches history and politics at GCSE and A level.