Teachers in UK schools need to be trained in supporting students with their mental health!
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Hi my name is Megan and I am 16 years old and from the U.K, and for the majority of my life I have been suffering immensely with my mental health, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of 11 and have been suffering ever since. Many of my stresses are to do with my school work and the school having a lack of understanding and training of any type of mental health as well as the school environment being too overwhelming for many people including myself, and I know for a fact that it isn’t just me dealing with all this stress and pressure there are many other students that are dealing with the same, but they are just too nervous to speak out because our schools have no support for them. My experiences with my mental health have led me down a dangerous path because I felt like a burden, both to the school and mainly to my family, this led to me not going into school for months leaving me self taught for most of the year with hardly any support from my subject teachers, and ending up being admitted into hospital because I felt there was nothing I could do or anyone else could do to help me anymore. I feel that most of this could’ve been avoided, if our schools had the funding to hire counsellors to help me, and in the future help many others going through similar experiences. If training was obligatory, not only would it help students in the long run in their adult life, it would help teachers with their own mental health both at school and at home. Currently CAMHS are the most busy they have ever been due to the increase of exam pressure starting at such young ages and the behavioural and aesthetic expectations of students being so high, causing devastating repercussions in the long run, such as: not being able to go for job interviews because of major anxiety issues, therefore effectively stopping them from achieving what they are very much capable of doing. Currently all the government’s focus is on grades and making sure students get the grades the school needs to make the school look good to encourage parents to send their children there, this is not how our school system should work. The fact is, is that if more of the energy put in was towards helping students with their wellbeing, and making sure the students were happy when attending school, the good grades would certainly come after, it baffles me how the government haven’t realised this. Mental health is exactly like physical health and the ride should be treated with the same amount of attention, and support, therefore all teachers who train in first aid should be trained on how to understand, deal with, and spot signs of students struggling with their mental health. Our country is known for not funding mental health services enough, so for people who cannot afford private care are left with the inconsistencies of public care. The stigma surrounding mental health needs to stop, as it is affecting everyone, no one suspects that children can experience the same feelings as an adult, and people need to realise the children aren’t seeking attention or misbehaving, they are suffering in silence. We need to make a change, and grant a brighter future for the younger generations!
UPDATE: I have now been transferred to a specialist school to do my last year of school and my GCSEs because my school was not equipped to help me and support me in one of the most important times in my school career! I’m glad I have been moved as it has helped me massively, but it shouldn’t have been allowed to get this far and severe. Students should have immediate support available, and not to be pushed so far that they need to be referred to a specialist school!
If you want to help me make a change, and you want to get more involved, tweet or post on Instagram with the hashtag #ourmindsmatter so I can see how you’re getting the word out there!!
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