According to the Prince’s Trust’s Youth Index, one-quarter of young people are unable to cope with life. Report after report reveals the mental health toll exacerbated by lockdown conditions. Research has found that the first national lockdown harmed children’s mental health. If there was a mental health crisis among young people prior to the pandemic, it can only get worse now. As a result, it is critical that children receive the best possible support.
Schools play an important role in providing assistance to children and adolescents with their mental health. We believe teachers play a crucial role in supporting children and young people’s mental health, which is why we run our Headucation programme. Headucation aims to improve the mental health of the next generation by addressing mental health in schools through a whole-school approach.
Why should children learn about mental health?
1. The importance of early intervention
Small changes in thinking and behaviour are frequently noticed by family, friends, teachers, and individuals themselves before a mental illness manifests itself fully. Learning about early warning signs and acting on them can be beneficial.
Teaching and talking to children about mental health in an age appropriate manner, can lessen the severity of the illness and may even prevent or postpone the development of a major mental illness. Apathy, feelings of disconnection, nervousness, unusual behaviour, withdrawal, mood changes, and a drop in performance are some of the symptoms.
2. Mental Health Is Equally Important as Physical Health
We typically associate the term “health” with physical health. Physical health is extremely important in our children’s lives, and physical education has been a vital part of the curriculum for a long time. We must, however, consider our children’s mental health on the same level. We want them to live a happy and healthy life, so we must teach them to understand how mental and physical health interact.
To live a happy life while coping with everyday stresses, we need to know how to handle our mental health. We can learn this while we are in school. Knowing the role mental health plays in their lives allows children to become happy adults. Happy, functional adults are better equipped to handle life.
3. Students’ Mental Health Impacts Learning and Achievement
Few children are aware that poor mental health can have an impact on learning and achievement. Children and adolescents who have mental health issues may struggle to learn. They may also struggle to complete tasks and concentrate. These children are also more likely to have poor academic performance and to miss school.
Children and teens who have mental health issues are less likely to graduate. They also have a harder time attending and completing postsecondary education.
4. Societal Pressures from Social Media
When children begin using social media, they must understand mental wellbeing. Social media is extremely important in today’s world, particularly in the lives of young people. Children and teenagers can learn unhealthy ways to talk, behave, socialise, and interact on social media.
Children’s mental health may suffer as they become more reliant on social media. Children who use social media extensively are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. If children learn about mental health in school, they will be able to make better social media decisions, lowering their chances of developing these conditions.
Our children’s mental health is in crisis, and we need your help:
We want to raise £20,000 before the end of 2022 to ensure we can support AT LEAST 3000 school children with their mental health and emotional well-being throughout 2023.