Mental health charity, MIND, has launched a report suggesting young people’s education is being damaged as they are unable to access good mental health support
The Charity surveyed nearly 3,000 young people, parents, carers, school staff and mental health professionals across England with 96% of the young people questioned reporting that their mental health had affected their schoolwork at some stage. Over half of school staff questioned identified that young people who did not receive support self harmed.
The report also notes that young people's mental health problems are being treated as bad behaviour with 48% of young people reporting they had been punished at school for behaviour that was caused by their mental health problems and 25% of school staff saying they were aware of a young person being excluded from school because of their mental health.
Racism is also highlighted as an issue with 70% of young people who experienced racism in school reporting their experience had impacted their wellbeing.
The report calls for the following:
Provide mental health support that meets young people's needs. Everyone aged 11-25 should be able to access early mental health support, without an appointment or a referral, in their local area.
Tackle racism in secondary schools. There must be a legal duty for schools to report on racist incidents.
Make it easier for young people to get help from NHS mental health services. Everyone involved in providing NHS mental health services should work together to make it easier for young people to access mental health care.
Stop treating mental health problems as bad behaviour. Schools should be banned from putting young people in isolation as a punishment. All teaching staff should take action to understand the causes of young people’s behaviour.
See the full report here.