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BLOG POST: Early Intervention of Mental Health Education in Schools

BLOG POST: Early Intervention of Mental Health Education in Schools

Published on Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Posted in News

The importance of early intervention of Mental Health Education in Schools through ‘Mood Matters’

1 in every 10 of children and young people experience mental health problems, according to the Mental Health Foundation. However, of those experiencing problems at a young age, it’s reported that 70% have not had early enough interventions. This can have a spiraling effect on the rest of their lives. Not getting help soon enough can result in not reaching milestones in life and falling short of potential.

The Prince’s Trust, in a 2019 report on the mental health of young people, stated that 16-18 year olds are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety than the 19-25 age bracket. This is such a crucial and difficult time for young people. They are asking themselves lots of questions. Who am I? What is my purpose? How do I fit in to society? Alongside this, it’s a time of sitting important exams, perhaps entering the workplace and making decisions concerning their futures.

In light of all that this stage of life brings, how can we deny that education around mental health is vital? Turning a blind eye to a young person’s experience of ill mental health can make it worsen over time and become more difficult to remediate. Teaching children and young people skills of resilience in their developmental years allows them to carry these skills with them through life.

Consider the role of the school nurse. A young student feels feverish in class. The first instinct, as a teacher, is to advise they go visit the school nurse. The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical wellbeing. Seeking help for ill mental health needs to become as accessible as seeking help for ill physical health.

Whilst the youth of today are increasingly aware of the importance of their mental health, many state they don’t know where to turn to for support. The truth is, they shouldn’t have to go looking. Mental health support should be accessible and greater measures need to be taken to push towards mental health education.

This is why at AWARE we offer a ‘Mood Matters’ programme. This evidence-based programme, delivered by experienced trainers, educates young people on how they can maintain good mental health and build resilience to deal with life’s challenges in practical ways. The following content is included in the delivery:

- What is mental health?

- Things that affect mental health

- Mental health problems and mental illness

- Signs and symptoms of stress and depression

- Looking after our mental health; Things that help including challenging and changing unhelpful thinking and behaviours

- Sources of help

- How AWARE can help

Mood Matters also complements the school curriculum as part of a pastoral care programme or ‘Learning for Life and Work’. It makes sense that we invest early in the mental health of our children and young people so that when they come face to face with life’s challenges, they are better equipped and not left hopeless and struggling.

 

For more information and to book this programme, please email training@aware-ni.org or call 028 9035 7820.

Tags: AWARE | blog piece | Depression | education | Mental Health | schools mental health | Young People