Almost half of young people experiencing mental health concerns turn to their teachers for support
In November, NHS released the findings of the “first national survey of children’s mental health to take place since 2004”.
The aim of the survey was “to find out about the mental health, development and wellbeing of children and young people aged between 2 and 19 years old in England”.
Key findings from the survey reported that:
When it came to education, the report found that on average 8.5% of children experiencing a mental health disorder were more likely to have played truant (compared to 0.8% without a disorder). This figure increased to 11.2% amongst those with a behavioural disorder*.
In further striking findings, young people with mental disorders were twice as likely to have experienced cyber bullying in the last year. The report also found that young people with a disorder were more likely to have:
The survey identified that two-thirds of young people experiencing problems did have contact with a professional service and that teachers were the most commonly cited source of support. Reassuringly, only 10% of these young people felt that this particular support was unhelpful.
With such a large proportion of young people turning to their teachers for support, it is concerning that a recent survey by Mental Health Foundation Scotland, most teachers felt they lacked the training to help pupils with mental health issues. The survey also identified that around half of the staff questioned felt that the pressures of the job had contributed to mental health issues amongst the teachers themselves.
The report found that 85% of those surveyed felt that more training in this area could help them take better care of their own emotional condition.
Have your sayDo you feel that there is sufficient support for teaching staff around mental health issues? Do you think there is too much pressure on schools to deal with these areas? Have you or your school been particularly successful in handling the matter? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions using the comments section below.
*Mental disorders were grouped into four main types: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other