We need to talk about mental health and wellbeing in schools

According to NHS figures released in December 2018, one in eight young people in England under the age of 19 have had at least one mental health disorder.

With increased pressure on young people from social media, exams and societal expectations, among other factors: stress, anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm and depression are being reported more and more within schools. But it’s not limited to our young people. Figures from the 2018 Teacher Wellbeing Index1 revealed that 67 per cent of education professionals are stressed, and 57 per cent are considering leaving teaching due to health concerns.

We need to talk about mental health and wellbeing in schools

It’s clear that mental health and wellbeing provision for students and staff within schools is paramount. In the Department for Education’s advice on mental health and behaviour in schools2, they set out that:

Schools have a central role to play in enabling their pupils to be resilient and to support good mental health and wellbeing for all pupils... a school’s approach to mental health and behaviour should be part of a consistent whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Ofsted have also recently released their new Inspection Framework, which sets out that, from September 2019, schools will be judged on keeping students mentally healthy, nurturing pupil resilience and managing pressure on staff.

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