Why Mental Health matters?

We are now more aware of the importance of mental health and well being within schools and the benefits for positive mental health and wellbeing on all aspects of the school community.

The NHS carried out their largest survey into children’s mental health and wellbeing in 2017. The data shows that 12.8 percent of five to 19-year-olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017, with emotional disorders being the most common disorder among school-age children, affecting 8.1 per cent. The statistics also show a rise in the prevalence of mental health issues among children and young people over the past two decades.

Education Support in conjunction with YouGov carried out a Teacher wellbeing Index in 2018, this found that more than three-quarters of teachers surveyed experienced work-related behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms and more than half were considering leaving the profession due to poor health. Senior leaders have been particularly hard hit with 80% suffering from work-related stress, 40% suffering from symptoms of depression and 63% considering leaving the profession – an issue, which unaddressed will leave many schools with no one to lead, motivate staff and maintain and improve educational outcomes.

The new Relationships, Sex Education guidance from the Department of Education recognises the importance of teaching pupils about wellbeing and within the new framework Ofsted will also be looking at how schools promote positive wellbeing amongst staff and pupils.

Discussion questions/Thinking points

  • How does your school currently support mental health and wellbeing?
  • What would you like to see change in your setting?
  • What challenges do you face as a school?