Teacher say children face mental health epidemic
Teenage mental health charity stem4 have released findings from a survey of teachers looking at children and young people’s mental health issues in schools.
Findings from an online survey of 300 teachers working in primary and secondary schools , and further education colleges in the UK show that:
- 78% of teachers said that at least one of their pupils has experienced a mental health issue over the past year;
- 14% said that at least one of their pupils has experienced suicidal thoughts and behaviours over the past year;
- 66% reported a pupil has suffered anxiety, and
- 45% have witnessed a student with depression
- 30% engaged with a pupil who had an eating disorder
- 28% supported a pupil with self-harm
- 10% reported a pupil who had an addiction.
Yet the teachers told the survey that just under half (46%) of students are unable to access the mental health services they need to make a recovery, with only one in five (19%) saying all these students were getting the treatment they needed. One in five (22%) say pupils needing specialist treatment typically had to wait more than five months for an appointment, and more than a third (36%) had feared at some point that a pupil would come to harm while waiting for treatment.
Nearly one in ten (9%) described their school’s mental health provision as ‘non-existent’, with 30% saying it was inadequate or very inadequate. Four in ten (40%) of the state school teachers surveyed say the need for mental health services has increased over the past year. Over half (52%) of all respondents believed family difficulties were contributing to their students’ problems while other common causes were exam stress and the emotional impact of bullying, both cited by 41%.
For more information read their full news release.