Leigh Mackay 0

Mental health reform in schools

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1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around three children in every class.

Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression.

3.3% or about 290,000 children and young people have an anxiety disorder.

If this many children across the UK struggle with mental health, why are we not doing more to help them?

Children between 5 and 16 spend about 6 or 7 hours a day in school, 5 days a week. That's a huge amount of time, and school takes up the majority of our lives as children and adolescents. Schools have a responsibility to ensure that time does not have a negative effect on students, and that children are supported so they can be happy and access their full potential.

Yet, thousands of students lack support in school because the support is unavailable, difficult to access, or forgets students who don't have obvious issues.

What schools need is to make this help more accessible, and realise just how necessary it is. Children cannot achieve if they are mentally unwell and lack support. Children's mental health and wellbeing should be prioritised, and good grades, good students, and good behaviour will follow.

Our suggestions:

  • 1-to-1 meetings with every child at the beginning of each term to check how they are doing, and support offered if they seem to be struggling
  • Accommodation and support offered to all students - not just the ones who have obvious issues
  • Access to quiet areas to work for students with anxiety or other issues, to avoid students having to hide in toilets or leave school unauthorised
  • Better mental health education for both teachers and students, so everyone is aware of signs of issues and how to get and give support to those who are struggling

Hopefully this petition will bring attention to this issue, raise awareness, and begin the process of schools focusing on mental health issues.

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