Shocking new figures show schools across the borough are being hit with an anxiety epidemic following the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a new report, published today by John Healey MP, all secondary schools and a majority of primary schools said there had been a rise in anxiety reported mental health problems for both students and staff since 2018.
The results also show that Primary and Secondary schools are crying out for more promised investment from the government in school mental health services and counsellors.
The latest report follows on from John’s original Schools Mental Health Report which was carried out in 2018 and called for more action to combat the mental health crisis in schools.
Mental health problems can blight childhood and adolescence, as well as damage good learning but the evidence also shows that such problems often continue into adult life, unless properly treated; half of adult mental health problems (excluding dementia) start before the age of 14.
John said: “My latest report shows that, despite five years of government promises to improve mental health support in schools, little has changed for the better. Every school has, again, reported an increase in the number of students with mental health problems, and most say the problems are now more severe with a big rise in reported anxiety.
“Four out of five secondary schools referred more than 20 students to support services and all primary and secondary schools reported an increase in the number of staff suffering mental health problems.
“Five years after my original Schools Mental Health Report, school leaders still don’t feel like they have the expertise, funding or time to deal with the day-to-day issues they face to support both students and staff.
“The mental health crisis in our schools has got worse since 2018 – for pupils and staff – yet there’s still a serious shortfall in support. I will use these findings to meet ministers, promote the case for specialist mental health support in every school and work with teachers’ unions for better staff access to counselling support.”
Following the report findings John is calling for:
- Specialist mental health support in every school
- Improved waiting times for specialist mental health services beyond the school, such as CAMHS
- Improved mental health support for school staff
- Guaranteed mental health treatment within a month for all who need it as a national government policy
- More government attention given to mental health in schools, with funding to back the action required
You can view the full report here Schools Mental Health Report 2023