Why Kindness Matters School Pack

School Pack: Why Kindness Matters

Understanding why kindness matters, and how it can be shown to ourselves and others, is a great way you can help young people improve and maintain their mental health and wellbeing. 

In April of 2020, we worked with YouGov to conduct an online survey of adults in the UK1. We found that 63% agree that when other people are kind it has a positive impact on their mental health, and the same proportion agree that being kind to others has a positive impact on their mental health. Studies have also found that being kind is linked to increased feelings of happiness, wellbeing, and life satisfaction2–6 for people of all ages.7,8 

"Helping others and being kind is about recognising when they need help and putting yourself out there, even if it’s not what you want to do." Peer Educator, Peer Education Project 

The Mental Health Foundation’s Peer Education Project is a Secondary School-based project that gives older pupils the tools to deliver mental health lessons to younger pupils. 

The project has worked with pupils and staff from participating Secondary Schools to create the Why Kindness Matters School Pack, which is available for all schools across the UK. 

This school pack will provide the materials and resources needed to support pupils to understand why kindness matters, and how to show it to themselves and those around them. The pack is designed to be used in secondary schools, but it has lots of useful information for primary schools too. It is available in English and Welsh. 

The pack includes: 

  • A lesson plan with PowerPoint slides and a script, as well as accompanying worksheets that have the option for greater individual pupil engagement on the topic. 

  • An assembly plan with PowerPoint slides and script to support the development of a whole-school approach to kindness and mental health. 

  • Helpful guides for pupils, school staff, and parents/caregivers on why kindness is good for our own, and others’, mental health and wellbeing, as well as top tips on how to show kindness to ourselves and those around us, together with useful resources. 

1. Mental Health Foundation. (2020). Kindness research briefing. Available online: Kindness research briefing | Mental Health Foundation

2. Curry OS, Rowland LA, Van Lissa CJ, Zlotowitz S, McAlaney J, Whitehouse H. Happy to help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor. J Exp Soc Psychol. 2018;76:320–9.   

3. Ko K, Margolis S, Revord J, Lyubomirsky S. Comparing the effects of performing and recalling acts of kindness. J Posit Psychol. 2019;   

4. Nelson SK, Layous K, Cole SW, Lyubomirsky S. Do unto others or treat yourself? The effects of prosocial and self-focused behavior on psychological flourishing. Emotion. 2016;16(6):850–61.   

5. Aknin LB, Barrington-Leigh CP, Dunn EW, Helliwell JF, Burns J, Biswas-Diener R, et al. Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2013;104(4):635–52.   

6. Rowland L, Curry OS. A range of kindness activities boost happiness. J Soc Psychol. 2019;159(3):340–3.   

7. Layous K, Nelson SK, Oberle E, Schonert-Reichl KA, Lyubomirsky S. Kindness Counts: Prompting Prosocial Behavior in Preadolescents Boosts Peer Acceptance and Well-Being. PLoS One. 2012;7(12).   

8. Poulin MJ. Volunteering predicts health among those who value others: Two national studies. Heal Psychol. 2014;33(2):120–9 

Register for our pack 

This pack is available for all schools free of charge. 

We’d encourage all schools using this pack to support our charitable work by making a suggested £5 donation.