Rising number of young people with mental health issues

  • A survey of school teachers has found that more young people are suffering with mental health issues than two years ago.

    Over half of the 850 staff surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lectures agreed that more young people have developed problems with their mental health, reports the BBC.

    General secretary Dr Mary Bousted blamed "poverty, poor housing, unemployment and financial insecurity". /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Over one in six believed that at least a quarter of students in their place of work were affected by mental health issues. 90% of staff said they had to provide more support over the past two years for these pupils and 43% said they found it harder to access services for young people with mental health problems.

    One head of department at a Reading secondary school said local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services were "completely overwhelmed".

    "Unless there is significant risk of harm to either the child or others, there is pretty much no point in contacting them."

    Nearly two thirds of those asked said their place of work did not devote enough time and resources to mental health issues. Just 9% felt they had been given enough training to help them spot the signs of mental illness in pupils, 45% said training was inadequate and 32% said they'd received no training what so ever.

    Lucie Russell, campaigns director of the charity Young Minds, said the survey demonstrated the "huge burden" teachers were under.

    "Having to manage a growing crisis in young people's mental health and decreasing access to expert support makes their jobs so much harder."

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