The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) surveyed 850 teachers and worryingly, more than half said they feel that more children have mental health issues now compared to just two years ago.
More than one in six said they believe that at least a quarter of students in their school or college are affected by mental health problems and almost 90% said that staff have had to provide more support for these pupils over the last two years. Further fuelling the issue, 43% said that they are finding it increasingly difficult to access services for pupils with mental illness.
A shocking 59% of teachers admitted that their school does not devote enough time or resources to students facing such issues and only 9% feel that they have been given adequate training when it comes to identifying the signs of mental health problems.
Despite this, 91% think that it’s vital to make children aware of the issues surrounding mental illness and want better personal, social and health education available in order to help combat the stigma surrounding it.
Cuts to services have left pupils dangerously at risk as school nurses, counsellors and expert social workers have all faced redundancies. At a time when teachers are facing a growing crisis in young people’s mental health, the decreasing access to support is making their jobs so much harder.
One head of department at a Berkshire secondary school confessed that staff are feeling completely overwhelmed and that unless there is significant risk of harm to either the child or others, there is pretty much no point in contacting local child and adolescent mental health services.
If you are worried that you, or someone you know could be suffering from mental health problems, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes page for more information about the signs, symptoms and help available. You can also contact us today for help.