This blog is a contribution to Rachel Hodgson’s (HR Consultant) ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing‘ series which documents the reality of mental health conditions and how we should ALL be focusing on prevention to provide a lasting change:
Mental Health in Schools
Last month I introduced Mental Health – Workplace, at home and beyond – WHY should I care?
This month my focus is on support in our schools. Why? Because the statistics on young people with mental health problems are alarming, I am a parent, I am a role model, we have a school, I am an HR Business Partner supporting the business objective with a strategic focus on building the talent pipeline, and of course, for the good of humanity. All good reasons to do something today!
We already covered the general statistics last month but look at the statistics on young people and how early mental health problems are established.
75% of mental health problems are established by age 24, and 50% by age 14. One in 10 of school-age children have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, including depression, anxiety or psychosis.
Focusing on Prevention
We really must focus on prevention to achieve a lasting change. Prevention is a key theme that was supported by the results of a public survey carried out by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness on behalf of the NHS Five Year Forward View national Mental Health Taskforce. The views of patients, carers, the public and health professionals were collected.
Earlier this year Theresa May announced a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities.
Prior to this NHS England had accepted recommendations by the Mental Health Taskforce and in June 2015 published an implementation plan detailing how it will deliver the recommendations.
This is all good news but the scale of the transformation required cannot be delivered by the NHS alone or driven solely from Whitehall.
We also know that knowledge alone is not going to make the changes and it is easy to get overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of the information and knowing where to start. This is not about huge corporate initiatives it’s about what each of us can do to contribute to creating awareness of the problem.
Call to Action
- Familiarise yourself with the information provided in the government report about promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
- Review the government’s advice for schools and ask your school how they are supporting their students
- Remind your school that Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up in May and encourage them if they aren’t doing so already to get involved and contribute to the national conversation about whether we are surviving or thriving and what we can do to bring about change
- Focus on what you identify with
- Find your connection
- What are the top 3 things that will have the greatest impact
- Be an agent of change – do not wait to be told
- Develop a programme of support no matter how small
- Share your knowledge and energy but most important is to deliver on your ideas.
Please take a look at these links for further information.
- Children’s mental health
- Young Minds – what’s the problem?
- Mental Health and Behaviour – Advice for Schools
It’s time to deliver. Translate your why into action.
‘Tomorrow is promised to no one. Prioritize today accordingly’. Gina Greenlee
Mental Health Awareness Week 2017
8-14 May 2017 Theme – ‘surviving or thriving?’
Mental Health Awareness week is coming up in May so a potential opportunity to introduce a program of work for those wanting to use this as a springboard. The theme is ‘surviving or thriving’ which aims to outline practical steps we can take to build a mentally healthy country and help prompt a national conversation about what we can do to move from surviving to thriving. Click here for more information.