Schools must do more on mental health, say School Reporters

Schools must do more on mental health, say School Reporters

Grace, 16, has been bullied for the past nine years, has moved schools twice, struggled with suicidal thoughts and taken medication for anxiety and depression.

At one point, she says, "there was no-one to turn to in the school and I felt so low I didn't want to go on".

According to research for BBC School Report, half of teenagers with mental wellbeing issues try to cope alone.

And a third said they were not confident enough to speak to a teacher.

At her lowest point, Grace made a "suicide video", which she posted on YouTube.


"I'd get beaten up every week," she says.

"Teachers wouldn't do anything. I even heard the teachers talking about me behind my back."

According to her mother, Sarah, Grace got some help through external music therapy and counselling but little support directly from her first two schools.

Support is better at her third school, where she helps as an anti-bullying ambassador.

She is also a member of the National Anti-Bullying Youthboard.

Schools must do more on mental health, say School Reporters

ComRes researchers questioned a representative sample of more than 1,000 UK-based 11- to 16-year-olds for BBC School Report:

They said the most important thing schools could do to support pupils' mental wellbeing was to provide someone trustworthy to talk to confidentially, but:

Separate research on just over 700 teachers found:

In January, Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to transform attitudes to mental health, with a focus on children and young people.

The plans include better links between schools and NHS specialist staff and mental health first aid training for every secondary school.

Reacting to the School Report research, Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, said the government would "transform mental health services in schools" and was commissioning research to help schools identify which approaches worked best.

"Growing up in today's world can be a challenge for children and young people, so it's vital that they get the help and support they need," said Mr Timpson.



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