Depression to be taught in Secondary school
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Physical education became compulsory in schools over 100 years ago and is continually being improved in terms of teaching children about the value of nutrition and exercise.
However within my 18 years within education never was I taught about mental health issues such as depression.
Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration.
1/4 people suffer with a mental health issue such as depression in their life time, along with 50% of these people attempting suicide at least once within their life.
The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment of depression and other mental health conditions. However how is this possible if we aren't even taught about it in the first place.
Although mental health support in schools is growing, this applies only for the children already diagnosed, rather than providing general menth health education for all pupils, this therefore leading to even further stigma around the whole topic.
We should all be taught that feeling low or anxious is nothing to be ashamed about, maybe this would not only help children open up about how they're feeling but also start the prevention of it developing later on in life.
A child or young person with depression can have major problems in not only how they feel, but also on how they behave. This may cause difficulties at home, at school, as well as relationships with family and friends. The longer the illness continues without understanding the worser effect it can have on a child's life. Therefore educating them on depression could not only ease the effects it can have, but also possibly prevent it before it even arises.
All i hope is that the mental illness, depression can get put into the curriculum within compulsory subjects such as PD. Educating children on what depression is, how it can be caused, and how it can be treated. This could lead to reduced stigma, promoting early identification, and encourage early intervention.
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