Survey reveals not enough done in schools to protect pupils’ mental health

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16th February 2016 16:12 - Health

A recent health survey has shown that unless more is done to support children’s mental well-being in primary schools psychiatric problems could arise later in their life.Survey reveals not enough done in schools to protect pupils’ mental health

The study, carried out by The National Association of Head teachers, discovered that around 20% of children seemed to display signs of potential mental health issues before the age of 11; a worrying figure for head teachers in and around the country.

The survey, involving nearly 1,500 head teachers, showed that they believe that only 33% of primary schools could give appropriate support if issues regarding a child’s mental health arose and are concerned that if these issues go untreated substantial problems could arise in later life.

After hearing the findings the government announced that they will be dedicating £1.4 billion to children’s mental health.

The general secretary of NAHT, Russell Hobby, stated, “We know the government is determined to improve children's mental health but there's still a danger that some children will take untreated mental problems into adulthood."

It was also shown that 75% of head teachers said that they had a severe shortfall of support and resources to assist teachers in maintaining their pupil’s mental well-being. On head teacher involved in the survey commented, “We used to have a counselling service in school which was amazing, but due to budgetary pressures we had to stop this service. Now there is virtually no accessible provision in our area."

Mr Hobby added, "Although increasingly common inside secondary schools, almost two-thirds of primary school leaders say that it is difficult to access local mental health professionals. Schools play a vital role in supporting children's mental health and building their resilience - but rising demand, growing complexity and tight budgets can get in the way of helping the children who need it most."

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