In a new report published today John Healey MP calls on Government Ministers to act now on the mental health crisis in schools.
The MP sent a Mental Health Survey to all schools in his Wentworth and Dearne constituency.
The report of the results shows that every primary and secondary school has seen a rise in the number of pupils with mental health problems over the last five years, with most schools saying that students’ problems have become more severe since 2013. Over half of schools also report mental health problems have increased for staff.
John Healey says: “This report shows that our schools are struggling to provide essential early intervention and support.
“All schools report an increase in mental health problems, yet many simply don’t feel they have the expertise, funding, time or back-up to deal with the pressures. Schools are being asked to do more as other support services are cut back.
“I want to see a counsellor in every school, better links between schools and specialist services and, above all, Ministers to recognise this mental health crisis in schools and help find the support that’s needed.
“I’ll be taking some of our local head teachers to see the Schools Minister.
“The Governments plans don’t begin to measure up to either the scale or urgency of the problems and new forms of funding will not be available for another 4 years in some areas. Help with young people’s mental health is needed now.”
All political parties are pledged to give mental health the same priority as physical health, yet there are now 5 000 fewer mental health nurses than in 2010 and more than 60% of NHS trusts saw cuts to mental health budgets between 2011/12 and 2016/17.
Following the report findings John is calling for:
- A counsellor for students in every secondary school, with similar shared support between local primary schools.
- Staff in every school to have access to counselling support
- Better referrals, shorter waiting times and lower rejection rates for specialist mental health services beyond the school, such as CAMHS
- Closer working and better understanding between education, health and social services
- Government give more urgent attention to mental health in schools, with funding to back the action required.
You can view the full report by clicking here Schools Mental Health Report