Training could help teachers recognise pupils in mental distress, says a new review by the BPS Faculty for Children.
The report ‘What good looks like in psychological services for schools and colleges’ looks at the evidence and practical ways in which psychological wellbeing can be supported in schools.
The review states that teachers can be trained to understand what normal distress looks like and to identify any risk of harm to the self or others.
The review adds that schools can build cultures and develop resources aimed at building resilience, and ameliorate the negative impact of risk factors like poverty or bereavement.
It adds that the curriculum must be developed to tackle risk factors like bullying and other social concerns, academic and sexual pressures.
Julia Faulconbridge, BPS Division of Clinical Psychology Child Lead and Review author said: "In a climate of limited resource and rising demand there is clear and growing evidence that embedding psychological services in schools is an effective way of identifying and working with children and young people’s mental health needs. We believe psychologically healthy schools with support for the wellbeing of staff and students should be a priority.
"Schools can provide a setting in which we can work to improve the resilience and psychological wellbeing of children and young people to prevent the development of difficulties as well as intervening early when difficulties arise.”