Barbara McIntosh, Head of Children and Young People’s Programmes:
As the host of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, we have contributed to the development of a free guide, Resilience and Results: How to Improve the Emotional and Mental Wellbeing of Children and Young People in your School. The guide aims to help schools better understand the importance of supporting their pupil’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
It is plain to see how vital early intervention is in making the children of our generation happy and healthy adults. With almost half of young people with fewer than five GCSEs graded A* to C saying they ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel down or depressed, the links between academic achievement and positive mental health are evident and the Coalition has committed itself to reaching out to schools and enlightening them into how they can establish a whole school culture of positive mental health.
We hope that, through this guide, Headteachers will be better equipped with how to quantify the level of behavioural and emotional difficulties in their schools and accordingly putting into practice effective measures to support young people and improve behaviour. On a more practical level, which is particularly relevant following the anticipated rise in Pupil Premiums, Resilience and Results offers case studies of how to commission additional support services in schools, including counselling or working with other agencies such as your local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS).
With 10 young people having witnessed their parents separate; one having experienced the death of a parent, and seven having been bullied in an average classroom, we hope that the knowledge offered in this guide will help give children and young people the skills to cope with the ups and downs of life. By helping them develop good relationships and reach their full potential, our ultimate goal is to make schools healthier and safer environments to help all children and young people grow into mentally healthy adults.
17 October 2012