‘Mental health is the top issue for children and young people today’ – which is why schools and colleges are investing in specialist support

Mental health
A large survey of 4 to 17-year-olds in England by the Children’s Commissioner has found that mental health is their main concern, with girls twice as likely as boys to be worried about their mental health and concern about mental health increases as the young person ages.

The report found that children and young people are increasingly aware of the ‘artificial dichotomy between physical and mental health’ and they ‘suggested improved wellbeing support on a day-to-day basis at school.’

When asked what they were worried about, children often used the words ‘mental health’: ‘[If I could change anything] I would change my mental health because I can get quite sad and it doesn’t feel quite right and it gets annoying’.

– Girl, 8. The Big Ask: The big answers survey Tweet

The report also found that the current NHS plan to support mental health through schools will be insufficient to reach the majority of schools and that more support for schools is needed.

The report was launched within hours of the new post-graduate School Mental Health Specialist programme launching, a professional qualification for staff working in schools.

School Mental Health Specialists are now starting to provide additional and focused support in 12 schools in England. These new school-employed colleagues know first hand the needs of their students and can, through training, development and supervision, match these to the culture and processes within the school. It is a testament to these colleagues and their schools that they making such a commitment to improving mental health within their schools.

This indicates again the importance schools play in putting in stringent preventative measures, promoting positive mental health, removing stigma and where necessary identifying, supporting and referring those in need additional support.

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