We’re living in a world of ever-increasing mental health cases, but we’re also seeing a similarly rapid rise in mental health awareness as well. We’re living in a time where young people are 50% more likely to have problems with their mental health, but also have access to a much wider pool of information to help them. Teacher’s jobs aren’t just about academic education, but supporting young people’s wellbeing, so they need to know what information is out there and how to support youth mental health.
- 1 in 6 children aged 5 – 16 are likely to have a mental health problem.
- Research shows that 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and 75% are established by 24.
- From 2017 to 2021, 2% of 6 to 16-year-olds have experienced deterioration in mental health, while 21.8% have seen improvement.
- Young people in the UK are dealing with high levels of stress. This is largely due to pressure to succeed, body image and exams.
- There were 349,449 under-18s in touch with NHS child and adolescent psychiatric teams at the end of October 2021, the highest number on record.
- 46% of young people aged 16 – 25 feel that social media makes their lives seem ‘inadequate’ compared to others online.
Signs of mental ill health
How teachers can support students with mental health
As with the list of mental health problems, there are a myriad of possible ways we can assist the young people in our care. Schools should have a policy and guidance on dealing with mental health issues, and most have some specialists within the school.
Advice and resources on mental health
One of the best outlets for aid is the NHS service CAMHS. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is able to assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties, as well as support with depression, anxiety, bipolar, and violence, to name but a few. Having school approved information on display, with posters and leaflets readily available can be one of the best ways to let students access the information they need.
Here's our list of top sources for information on mental health.
Check out the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, which has a great database of guidance and materials for schools, such as their 5 steps to mental health and wellbeing and information on signposting.
Good mental health is essential for young people to be happy, healthy and do their best in school. Mental health awareness is increasing, and more and more resources are available to help teachers support them. The words mental health crisis get used a lot – let’s do everything we can to help young people in the face of growing challenges, and help them flourish.