Robin is named as Principal Verifier

Robin Young

Robin is named as Principal Verifier

Care lecturer Robin Young has been appointed the Principal Verifier for a new mental health and wellbeing course, being championed by the Scottish Government.

The new NPA in Mental Health and Wellbeing award for the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA), has been driven by Robin Young who has created and written unit specs, assessments and learning and teaching packs for the course. It will be pitched at Level 4 and 5 and has already been piloted in some schools and colleges throughout Scotland this year.

The aim of the new course dovetails with the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy, which focusses on improving support and services in supporting children and adults in relation coping strategies and resilience, rather than the illness itself.

It is understood the course – which has been driven by Robin and two colleagues,  Toni McIlwraith, Head of Curriculum, Care, Health, Education and Social Sciences at Moray College UHI, and Shelley Buckley, Social Work Consultant and  Independent Practice Teacher - is set to be introduced throughout Scotland’s core School curriculum and Forth Valley College will be incorporating two of its units in Health and Social Care courses from August.

Robin, who was formerly a mental health nurse, before he made the switch to the further education sector, said: “I am very passionate about this and am delighted and proud that this is being rolled out now. Many years ago before I came into education, I was a mental health and sick kids nurse, and now I will be making a difference in educating children and adults about mental health in the future.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for school pupils, students, teachers, lecturers, parents, health care professionals and professional trainers to really start to talk about these issues and give people the coping strategies and resilience necessary to help them approach mental health issues in a better way.

“The feedback we have had so far has been very positive on the new course and that is great news. Scotland has the highest suicide rates in the whole of the UK and this new course will open discussions around mental health and wellbeing, along with coping strategies and resilience. 

“I have been a Scottish mental health instructor since 2006, and I help people gain the skills to have that initial chat with someone who may be having issues. It may be a bumpy road, but once someone listens to a vulnerable person then they are on the road to recovery.

“Forth Valley College – and Hannah Ritchie, Director of Curriculum of FVC’s Department of Care, Sport and Construction - have also been very supportive to me as a whole over the last year, as I have been working on this and I am looking forward taking this qualification forward as Principal Verifier for Scotland.”

Hannah Ritchie, Director of Curriculum of FVC’s Department of Care, Sport and Construction, said: “I am delighted, but not surprised, to hear of Robin’s appointment as Principal Verifier for NPA Mental Health and Wellbeing. Robin has used his extensive skills and experience to co-develop this new award. The award’s inclusion within our Health and Social Care curriculum, will deliver benefits for our students and the wider community across the Forth Valley region. This achievement represents a significant contribution to our mission of “Making Learning Work”.  I offer Robin my warmest congratulations on his achievement.”

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