About the

BESST is an exciting clinical trial designed to understand whether a group workshop programme, called DISCOVER, can positively impact the mental health of 16-18-year-old 6th Form students. Scroll down the page to learn more about the trial.

What is
the trial?

Play the video below to hear an explanation of BESST from members of the trial team.


BESST has garnered significant engagement and collaboration from 6th forms, students, and NHS services across England. Here are four key snapshots of the demographic details

Our ambitious trial included representation from regions within London, Midlands, Southwest, and Northwest England.

We have collaborated with 15 different NHS Teams across England, all trained to deliver the DISCOVER workshop.

Our clinical trial has received support from 57 state sixth forms in England.

A remarkable 900 sixth form students, seeking help for stress, enrolled to participate in BESST.

Explanation of
the trial

We’re really keen to find accessible solutions to improve the wellbeing of students; we want to find out if the DISCOVER workshop is key to unlocking better mental health outcomes.

To assess the effectiveness of the DISCOVER programme, we have conducted a large cluster randomised control trial, involving 900 students from 57 Sixth Forms across 4 areas of England (London, Midlands, Northwest, and Southwest). We are proud to have collaborated with 15 NHS Mental Health Support Teams across England, who have worked closely with us to deliver the DISCOVER workshop in the schools allocated to receive it.

Half of these Sixth Forms received the DISCOVER workshop and the other half received their usual school care along with signposting information of mental health resources. We used questionnaire assessments to gather data on how students were feeling at the start of the trial and 3 and 6 months later.

Following completion of data collection, we assessed the effectiveness of the workshop programme by comparing the results of those who have and have not received the workshops. The results of this trial provide crucial insights to the policy makers about the potential effectiveness of DISCOVER as a frontline education-based mental health care provision for 16-18-year-olds. This information will help inform decisions on whether DISCOVER should be further implemented as a school-based mental health intervention, aligning with government health and education policy priorities.

You can now read about these findings on the results page.