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Mental Health Today and its readers make these calls for the mental health content set to enter the national curriculum next year:
The language used must be demonstrably shaped by lived experience, psychologists, doctors, teachers and parents together.
Teachers to model empathy not judgment when describing thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviour.
Disorder symptoms / presentation 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 to be provided with clear information on partner follow-up service provision before curriculum roll-out.
Teachers to acknowledge current unknowns in mental health research where they exist - along with contested standpoints.
The calls are made following extensive polling of our readership, comprised of practitioners, policy-makers, experts by experience, children, parents and teachers - including many who fall into more than one camp. Over 1,200 reader survey responses were collated and analysed between October 2018 - January 2019.
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Send in your stories about what you'd like to see considered within the mental health content plans for the new national curriculum. We will work with you to use your insights to influence the government's plans before they are finalised this summer.