Mental health is becoming a prominent issue within society and one which is particularly affecting today’s youth.
This means that it is important for schools to find ways to both prevent mental health difficulties where possible as well as provide the appropriate care and support for any pupils that are struggling.
It is important that mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety are identified and managed early so that the individual can lead a happy life as well as not let the issue interfere with their studies. The Government and schools are beginning to take action in relation to mental health but there is still a lot more work that needs to be done to provide support and care for today’s youth.
Studies show that 1 in 9 people aged 5 to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teens with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental health disorder in adulthood. This goes to show that intervention is vital at an early age.
The Link Programme
One of the most notable developments has been the introduction of The Link Programme. This is a new training scheme that is designed to provide joined-up care from educational institutions and the NHS, to increase awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialists. This should help schools to quickly identify mental health difficulties and to help the students to get the support that they need promptly.
Mental Health Support Teams
The Link Program involves plans to train mental health support teams consisting of teachers in schools and colleges which can provide support to students with mild to moderate mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, behavioural problems and social difficulties. This early intervention will hopefully stop these problems from becoming severe mental health problems. The mental health teams would then be able to help those with move severe difficulties to get access to NHS services.
A Large Responsibility
This training and new roles for teachers in schools is an excellent idea but it will put a large responsibility on the shoulders of teachers who already have a highly stressful and busy job. It is for this reason why having fast access to expert educational lawyers like Browne Jacobson will be so key during this period.
It is clear that the Government and schools are aware of the prominence of mental health difficulties and how early intervention is so important. It is good news that action is being taken to identify mental health issues, to provide support for those that need it and a better connection with NHS services for severe cases, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to provide the support and care for those that needs it.