Mental health problems in schools on the rise, survey finds

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2nd April 2015 10:12 - Health

A recent poll, conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, has shown that teachers are seeing an increase in child mental health Mental health problems in schools on the rise, survey findsproblems in the classroom.

The survey reveals that approximately 50 per cent of teachers have seen a rise in young people experiencing mental illnesses such as: anxiety, depressions, hyperactivity, ADHD, eating disorder, drug/substance abuse and self-harm.

Half of the respondents said that they had seen a rise in mental illnesses in the last two years and 60 per cent had seen a rise within the last decade.

The survey indicates that 43 per cent of teachers said that between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of pupils in their school or college have mental health problems.

Of this figure, 37 per cent said that less than 10 per cent of the pupils in their school or college were experiencing mental health issues and 14 per cent said that it was between 25 per cent and 75 per cent.

The findings show that 10 per cent of children, or three children in every classroom, have a diagnosed mental health problem.

The survey also found that 65 per cent of the 850 education workers questioned feel that their school or college is being forced to provide extra support for young people who are having difficulties with their mental health. A further 23 per cent claimed that a higher level of support is now needed.

Cuts to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have been blamed by many, for making it increasingly difficult to get the right help for a child struggling with their mental health.

Approximately 43 per cent said that their school or college is finding it harder to get the mental health and social care that they require, as opposed to two years ago. Just 5 per cent said that it is now easier.

Just 48 per cent said that their school’s procedures, regarding dealing with mental health problems, is sufficient, meaning 52 per cent of schools’ procedures are unsatisfactory.

The survey also found that 59 per cent do not think that enough time and resources are set aside to help tackle the issue of mental health problems amongst pupils.

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