Make mental health part of the national curriculum
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More people of all ages are suffering from mental health conditions than ever before. In our society, we have improved the stigma in relation to talking about mental health and in the advertisement of the services available to those who are struggling. But surely better than treatment, is prevention and early intervention?
Mental health is something that should be taught and implemented into every level and aspect of education. Why is it not a compulsory subject? Sex education is a compulsory part of the national curriculum from age 11 onwards. Sex education is an important part of teaching children about how to look after their own health, as well as important aspects such as consent and nowadays even things like keeping safe online.
Everyone has a brain and therefore everyone has varying degrees of mental health. Whether you are personally affected by, know someone who is affected by, or just hear about mental health, imagine a world where it is something than we can discuss openly and freely and let those who feel alone and like they have nowhere left to turn or no-one left to turn to have the support and services to help them get back on track.
The pressure on children today is simply to achieve, to work towards exams, to do exams to go on to secondary education, to do exams to go on to college or an apprenticeship, to do exams to go onto university, to do exams to go into the workplace. But what is missing? Time to stop and reflect. What is more important? That extra mark in an exam, that extra A grade on the sheet of paper you painstakingly work towards or a balanced life with a mentality that will carry you through the rest of the education system.
Basically, if during primary school and high school, mental health had been mentioned during registrations, assemblies, presentations - if everyone was made aware that your own mind is the most powerful tool you have but unless you learn how to control your mind, it will control you.
Keep Sex Education. Keep Physical Education. Keep Maths. Keep Physics. Keep all of the subjects; even the ones that no-one can stand but introduce mental health.
Everyone has a brain but we just need to know how to use it.
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