850,000 children in the UK have mental health problems, according to the children’s mental health charity youngminds. This equals around three children in the average classroom.
One in 12 children deliberately harm themselves. This leads to around 25,000 hospitalisations each year.
Over 29,000 people have signed a petition to introduce mental health education to the mandatory national curriculum.
This video shows young people and their parents talking about mental health issues:
Although the number of signatures needed for the for the issue to be considered for debate in parliament is 100,000 the government has already issued a response:
“MindEd, funded by the Department of Health, has been developed to enable all adults working with children and young people learn more about mental health problems and how to support them.”
“We are also working closely with the sector to further improve the quality of teachers’ initial teacher training and support their continued professional development.”
Earlier this month the government launched the Mental Health Champion (MHC) program i. Which aims to create a ‘point of contact’ for mental health in schools. This isn’t necessarily a teacher, it could also be a teaching assistant or a nurse.
The idea is that the MHC will be in regular with the local NHS children’s mental health service.
For the issue of mental health education to be considered for debate in parliament it still needs another 70,000 signatures by 22 January 2016.
If you think more needs to be done to educate children about mental health in schools, you can sign the petition here.
Featured image accredited to Gulliver Academy