Half of teachers not confident in supporting pupils’ mental health, research shows

14th July, 2021 1:49 pm

Half of secondary school teachers do not feel confident in addressing the mental health needs of pupils, the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has found.

Some 97 per cent of respondents to a survey of teachers expressed a desire for training in supporting young people’s mental health, with 65 per cent stating they haven’t received any training related to mental health in the last twelve months.

A second survey found that 62 per cent of secondary school teachers said they have seen teenage pupils presenting with mental health problems who weren’t previously known by staff at their school to have these problems.

The results come ahead of a major report set to be released by the EIF later this month that will provide insights into how schools can best support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Jo Casebourne, chief executive of the EIF, said: “We know that supporting young people’s mental health is a priority for secondary schools, now more than ever.

“It is essential that teachers are adequately trained to support young people in the development of essential life skills including, for example, emotional regulation, communication skills, coping skills, and conflict resolution skills. The results from our survey highlight the need for high-quality continuing professional development to enhance teachers’ competencies. We mustn’t see mental health as a tick box exercise – it’s an ongoing process.”

Separate research finds that the number of young people showing interest in training to be a mental health professional has soared during the pandemic.

Data from online educator CoursesOnline reveals that the number of 18- to 24- year-olds starting counselling courses has risen by 223 per cent since lockdown began in March 2020.

Courses promoted by the organisation range from GCSE-level psychology to a master’s in psychology and a Level 4 certificate in counselling children and adolescents.

The statistics have been released ahead of the UN’s World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, which will pay tribute to the resilience and creativity of youth during the crisis through a virtual event.

Source: CYP Now

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