Could new guide end the mental health stigma in schools?

A rise in mental health issues has been widely reported by education professionals across primary, secondary and further education settings. YMCA Chief Executive has labelled it as ‘one of the principal worries affecting their generation.’

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October, Public Health England have commissioned a ‘comprehensive guide to mental health for schools and colleges.’ The guide outlines three key stages for identifying, supporting and evaluating health and wellbeing effectiveness.

Recent findings indicate that ‘half of all diagnosable mental health disorders [are] established by the age of 14,’ placing schools and colleges in a vital position to spot early signs and determine the best course of action.

Psychologist, Dr Jessica Deighton, has called it an ‘invaluable resource for all teachers to feel empowered,’ to deal with wellbeing issues.

According to a recent YMCA survey, two-thirds of students felt stigmatised at school for their mental health issues. A worrying 70% ‘said that public attitudes towards mental health meant they were less willing to talk about the problems they were facing.’

Those surveyed agreed that schools are therefore best placed to raise awareness of mental health problems, by facilitating more open discussions.

The guide published by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, will therefore be a welcome tool, providing teachers with a practical structure to begin tackling the growing concern.

How can teachers support their pupils’ mental health? Do you believe there’s a stigma at school for children with mental health difficulties? Get in touch:

T: 01277 217777