LON20/06/18 Exploring Current Issues in SpLD - Mental Health and SpLD

Date: 20/06/2018

Location: Ambassadors, Bloomsbury London

Price (per person): Members £155, Non-members £185

40 Spaces Remaining

LON20/06/18 Exploring Current Issues in SpLD - Mental Health and SpLD

Location: London

Presenters: Leah Brennan, and Jamie Crabb

Booking Ref: LON20/06/17

Day of Week: Wednesday

Course Times: 10.00am - 4.15pm (registration from 9.30am)

Link to Venue: Ambassadors Hotel, Bloomsbury


One in ten school children and one in four HE students have significant mental health issues, this increases to 40% if the learner has a Learning Difference (Robinson 2016). The course will demonstrate how apply both Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and applied counselling strategies in a learning setting.   

Educators will be made aware of the different types of mental health difficulties. The application of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) will be demonstrated using a case study. Applied counselling strategies will be demonstrated and explained, as learning is also an emotional experience.  

Course Description

This course is an opportunity for specialist teachers, teachers and other professionals to increase their knowledge and understanding of the impact mental health difficulties can cause for a student with SpLD. Demands to achieve academically put significant pressure on all students, but those with specific learning difficulties may be at particular risk for experiencing higher levels of stress. The gap between the SpLD student’s academic ability and their academic performance in relation to other learners in their class, may lead to a lower academic self-concept. For example, they may perform well in class discussion but find it difficult to express their ideas in writing. These difficulties cause enormous stress on the SpLD student. The course will look at identifying anxiety, and low self-concept in students and some basic practical strategies which a teacher can apply to help their learner improve their self-concept.

  • Identifying risk factors with regards to mental health and low self-concept in students with SpLD
  • Applying strategies to teaching and learning to help students with SpLD to begin to develop the resilience to cope with the stress of learning
  • To explore how to apply applied counselling skills to your teaching
  • To be aware support services for students with Mental Health issues
  • To develop an awareness of mental health challenges faced by SpLD Learners across in difference phases of education

Course Outcome

  • To identify specific signs of concern with regards to the mental health of students.
  • To apply proven strategies to help students develop their resilience
  • To use and think about strategies from counselling which can be applied to a tutorial or classroom setting to aid students’ learning.
  • To be aware of how to make a recommendation to supporting service


It would be helpful if participant is working with students with SpLD


Universal- open to anyone working in education

Target Audience

  • All ages and phases in the education system.
  • Specialist teachers
  • Classroom teachers
  • Tutors in schools, Further Education and Higher Education
  • SENCo
  • Tutors in Higher Education
  • Support staff in School/ Further Education and Higher Education 
  • Teaching Assistances
  • Mentors


Morning session: Understanding Mental Health Difficulties in SpLD Learners -Leah Brennan: Leah will discuss the fact that more and more learners with SpLD difficulties are struggling with the pressure of curriculum demands within our education system. Leah with explain that educators need to understand how mental difficulties present, what we can do as educators to help our students and when and to whom we should refer our students on to for professional support. Leah will discuss how apply Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to aid a learner. A case study will be presented during the course, this will be used on day as a discussion on how to apply the strategies.

Leah Brennan
Leah is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and a full member of the British Psychological Society. She is registered with the Health Professionals Council and has over 10 years’ experience in providing psychological assessments and treatments to children and their families. As well as working independently, Leah is an established NHS Clinical Psychologist working with the Pediatric Team at The Hillingdon Hospital in West London.

Afternoon Session: Applied Counselling Approaches to supporting SpLD Learners- Jamie Crabb: Jamie will discuss from the perspective of both an educator and counsellor, how strategies from counselling applied to supporting a leaner with SpLD can be effective in aiding learning. He will also highlight the difference between been an educator and being a counsellor, and when an educator should refer to a counsellor.

Jamie Crabb
Jamie has over 10 years’ experience working in the education sector. His work includes working for the Metropolitan Police as Safer Schools Partnership initiative, and as lecturer/tutor in Applied Theatre and theatre/performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. More recently his work focuses upon specialist disability and specific learning differences (SpLDs) support and assessment, and assistive technology training. He is completing his final of training in Integrative counselling and psychotherapy at the Minster Centre.
Jamie currently heads up Training and Innovations as part of the Diversity and Ability (DnA) Leadership Team. DnA is a social enterprise that specialises in Assistive Technology and learning support for students with disabilities and SpLDs in Higher Education and the workplace. His focus is the delivery of CPD workshops on inclusive practice and integrating study strategies and Assistive Technology in Higher Education. He has developed projects with the charity Crisis focused on the use of free and open source software for service users, and on supporting mental health and wellbeing. Jamie has been a visiting lecturer at London Metropolitan University on the PG Certificate Teaching Adult Dyslexic Learners in Further and Higher Education, and an Executive Committee of the Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education (ADSHE). He co-edited the third edition of Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia (Support for Specific Learning Differences) for SAGE publications, and has co-written a number of articles for ADSHE, PATOSS and NADP.