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More and more children have been struggling with their mental health due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, supporting these young people in schools has never been more urgently needed.
Since 2019, Mental Health Today has published resources to assist educators in getting the classroom discussion on mental health right and has successfully campaigned for mandatory mental health lessons.
We found in discussion with our readers that several vital elements are essential to support children and young people’s mental health:
The language used to talk about mental health in schools must be demonstrably shaped by lived experience, psychologists, doctors, teachers, and parents together.
Teachers must model empathy, not judgment, when describing thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviour.
Disorder symptoms/presentation need to be acknowledged and described in a non-sanitised, sympathetic way to secondary school pupils.
Classrooms and partner services to be safe, supportive, accessible and empowering and environments. Schools have to provide clear information on partner follow-up service provision before curriculum roll-out.
Teachers must acknowledge current unknowns in mental health research where they exist – along with contested standpoints.
Information and resources for schools
Mental Health Today has made resources available to schools keen to deliver genuine mental health literacy and supportive, trauma-sensitive environments. Teach Me Well brings together quality mental health resources, guides, information, and advice for schools to develop the mental health knowledge of educators and students alike.