The Role Of Schools

The Current State of Mental Health In UK Schools

Young people’s mental health is something we all must take seriously. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people in the UK, so promoting mental health in schools isn’t just desirable – it’s essential. Statistics reveal that:

10% of school children have a diagnosable mental illness. This means that, in a class of 30 students, three will have a mental health problem.

75% of young people with a mental health problem aren’t receiving treatment.

90% of the young people surveyed said that they would like mental health to be more important to their school or college

71% of teachers said that they would welcome a duty on schools to promote student wellbeing

75% of mental illnesses start before a child reaches their 18th birthday. 

Only 32% of Ofsted inspection reports include an explicit reference to pupils’ mental health and wellbeing Only 3

92% of parents think that schools have a duty to support the wellbeing and mental health of student

There is clear evidence that emotional wellbeing is a key indicator of academic achievement, and subsequently improved outcomes in later life

THE ROLES OF SCHOOLS

Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills.

 

Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying. However, despite the known benefits of good wellbeing provision, at present the education system is unbalanced. There is too much emphasis on academic attainment and not enough focus on promoting the wellbeing of students.

With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that pupils learn in the classroom can help them build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.

 

The prominence given to exams and academic attainment within the education system is having a negative impact, with 80% of young people saying that exam pressure has significantly impacted on their mental health. In terms of causing disability, mental health is a bigger problem than both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Yet treatment for mental health problems is still woefully inadequate, which is why we are partnering up with schools to bridge the gap

Using The 5 Steps To Mental Wellbeing Strategy In Your School

Teachers and school staff have a responsibility to promote mental health in schools. Often, even small changes can go a long way in helping somebody feel better.

1) Connect

Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:

  • help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth

  • give you an opportunity to share positive experiences

  • provide emotional support and allow you to support others

2) Be Physically Active  

Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • raising your self-esteem

  • helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them

  • causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood

3) Learn New Skills

Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem

  • helping you to build a sense of purpose

  • helping you to connect with others

4) Give To Others 

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.by:

  • creating positive feelings and a sense of reward

  • giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth

  • helping you connect with other people

5) Take Notice (Mindfulness) 

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

We at Active Learners & Mental Health Education teach, apply, and implement these strategies In all of our schools that we are in partnership with, which have proven to produce amazing results and a rise in mental wellbeing, a decrease in pupils dealing with mental health issues, as well as a huge improvement in pupil behaviour. 

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