Over the past 25 years, rates of anxiety and depression among teenagers in the United Kingdom have risen by 70%, according to some estimates. Many teenagers say they experience “emotional distress” and don’t have teachers with the skills to help them with their mental health issues.
In a survey conducted by stem4 of 500 secondary school students, 4 in every 5 students ages 12-16 said they felt they had mental health problems, but only 1 in 20 would turn to a teacher for help if they felt they were unable to cope with their issues.
“Young people need better access to early interventions provided by properly trained mental health professionals who can either deal with these problems directly or make referrals to appropriate secondary services,” said Nihara Krause, a consultant clinical psychologist and founder of stem4.
According to the survey, 1 in 5 teenagers would prefer seeing a trained mental health professional in school rather than a teacher. A third would prefer the creation of dedicated young people’s health centers – away from school – where they can seek help anonymously.
A third of the young people surveyed believe that mental health first aid training for teachers is a good idea. With training, teachers can help ensure issues are identified early on and that students are getting the help and support they need.
Take a look at this Guardian article to learn more.