Measuring and Improving
Emotional Health and Well-being

Motional provides an easy-to-use online tool for identifying, assessing, and improving the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.  It is based on Professor Jaak Panksepp’s research on emotional systems in the brain and Dr Margot Sunderland’s extensive research, studies and expertise in executive functional skills. It records ACE and Protective Factor scores, and gives staff a whole-brain picture of students' mental health and wellbeing.

Motional can be used by all staff across a setting, without the need for specific training.  However, in order to best support the development of a mentally healthy environment for children and young people, we strongly recommend that Motional is used alongside Trauma Informed Schools UK's training. This will be particularly important when working 1:1 with children and young people who have experienced childhood trauma.

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The Motional Process

1. Measure

Image of a horizontal bar chart showing results for different emotional systems in the brain

Motional’s Snapshot tool uses a series of questions to help adults better understand how well a child or young person is functioning in terms of their mental health and wellbeing.

Universal Snapshots can be done by anyone, for any individual child or group. The Comprehensive Snapshot is available to TISUK Practitioners and can be completed for individual children or young people who have been identified as needing a little more support and / or 1:1 intervention. The Universal Snapshot is simply a shorter version of the Comprehensive.

Both levels of Snapshot allow you to create a Program of PROTECT and RELATE strategies (from the TISUK model of PROTECT, RELATE, REGULATE, REFLECT) along with wealth of practical activities known to support emotional development and to heal troubled children’s minds, brains, and ability to learn. The research base shows that these interventions can support children and teenagers who have mental health difficulties to go on to lead fulfilling lives.

2. Change

Create a Program of activities and guidance in order to support the development of the child or young person’s emotional health.

Our Programs tie in with the TISUK model of practice: PROTECT, RELATE, REGULATE, REFLECT. Each Program includes guidance (with extra detail for Practitioners) in protecting and relating to children. This guidance is tailored to the child you work with based on the scores in the Snapshot.

Each activity has a thorough description and step-by-step guide, together with key relationship-building approaches to help support and focus the impact this has on the child / young person or group.

Programs can be created by any level of user for both groups and individuals.

A Sample Activity

3. Measure the Change

Motional’s Reporting function offers various ways to measure change across your Team.  This can be used to track progress of an individual or group, view results for particular subsets of children in your setting such as those with Pupil Premium funding, Autistic Spectrum Condition, or Most Able.

You can view results from all Snapshots a child has from all users, including Universal, Comprehensive and where they're part of a class or group.  Or you can separate results from different staff members out onto different lines to find situations or relationships in which the young person is struggling or thriving.

The Reporting tool is under constant development and new features are regularly added.

Who uses Motional?

Feedback from our users

We’re really excited about the software and can already see how easily it can empower staff to deal with he needs of the children that they often find most challenging to help - you’ve done a great job of setting it up.

Sarah Robbins - Rhiw Syr Dafydd Primary School

I have just completed 2 new snapshots for 2 students I have been working with !! wooohoooo both show amazing results !!!!

Helen Wetton - Torpoint Community College

I’m getting my head well and truly around Motional and 99.999999% absolutely loving it – it’s being well received in schools and parents are engaging in all aspects – including ACES – offering scores but then articulating what they actually are – it has been so helpful in getting the full picture of the child – the snapshots have accurately reflected the story of the child.

Julie Harmieson - Trust Lead: SEMH and Inclusion, Bright Tribe and ALAT Trusts