10th October 2022
Make mental health a global priority – World mental health day 2022
Mental health is an issue amongst children and adults with 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental illness. On October the 10th it’s world mental health day, this year’s campaign is focusing on making mental health a global priority. The goal of mental health day is to help raise awareness around the illness, and put people’s minds at ease that it’s okay not to be okay.
What is mental health, and why should schools measure it?
Mental health includes people’s emotional, psychological and social well-being and can have effects on how we feel, think and act. It affects how we communicate with people and relate to others. Mental health factors in children can be influenced by many different things from personal life at home to the school environment. 1 in 10 children suffer from a mental health disorder stemming from anxiety to bullying.
Measuring children’s mental health in schools is really important. When students are happy and have a good level of well-being they’re more likely to be willing to learn more, learn better and explore new things as well as forming and maintaining good relationships with other peers and coping with any new challenges that school may hold for them.
How can schools support students’ mental health?
Schools are the best place to promote and support students’ well-being and mental health. Most students spend a lot of their time in school with their friends and teachers. This is a good opportunity for adults working in schools to identify children who could be struggling and offer them the support that they might need.
Schools are great places to help children develop both emotional and social skills. Schools help children learn how to build relationships and manage thoughts and feelings. Schools are able to do this by teaching students about health and well-being as well as offering support to students.
Schools need to ensure that they reduce the risks of potential mental health issues that arise in school such as bullying. Schools can include support by helping students feel wanted, this could be by having positive relationships with both teachers and friends at school.
Do teachers suffer from mental health, and how to help?
Good staff well-being is essential for a school, improving the culture around the workplace. As a teacher, the job can be difficult at times having to juggle multiple different tasks to support other teachers and students. With approximately one in four adults experiencing mental illness at points in their life, it’s more common than you think for an adult working in the school to suffer from mental health problems.
Knowing how to identify a colleague that is struggling is key, as speaking about problems early prevents problems from escalating and getting worse. One of the most common signs of a teacher’s mental health decline is a change in the person’s usual behaviour such as poor timekeeping, changes in behaviour, performance or emotion and physical symptoms.
Supporting a colleague can be hard at first, but by being sensitive and taking a positive approach, there could be a lot you can help with. Just being there for someone, reaching out and speaking and listening to them as well as highlighting things that may help could help out massively.
For more advice on mental health visit – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/