Schools need to do more to help pupils with their mental health

  • After surveying education leaders and young people campaigners have said that schools must do more to help and support pupils with their mental health. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Oxford Mental Health Forum has said that school should have regular talks on mental health and increase training and resources for schools. They also said that more printed material is needed for pupils and counselling should be available throughout the county.

    The forum's online survey received responses from 15 schools, 300 youngsters aged 16 to 25, 44 professionals and 21 parents or carers. They found that all schools offered pastoral guidance and advice with 88% able to provide one to one counselling. However, 35% provide printed material and 24% host sessions outside of school hours for carers and parents, reports the Oxford Mail.

    The report said: "Overall, schools feel they do not have enough resources to be able to provide appropriate information and support to young people on mental health."

    The report also found that 16% of young people had or were not sure if they had been given information on mental health and 70% of parents and carers had worries about their child's mental health.

    Sue Croft, principal of Oxford Spires Academy, East Oxford, said: "I think schools could do with more help. Mental health is a really serious barrier to a small but very significant group of students who don't sufficiently progress as a result. It is a massive shift in the right direction. It is one of the best investments anybody has had in terms of mental health."

    Sarah Breton, lead commiss-ioner for children, young people and maternity services at Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: " We worked closely with the authors of this report and welcome its findings. Good emotional support for young people in schools is very important and we - the authority and NHS - are committed to ensuring information and help is easily available, up-to-date and meets the needs of young people across the county."

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