The latest report from the charity Mind investigates mental health issues in secondary schools
Between September 2020 and April 2021 the charity Mind researched the experiences of young people aged 11-25 in England affected by mental health problems at secondary school. They heard from over 2,800 young people, parents, school staff and mental health professionals, and collated responses into a report which highlights issues from young people, including;
- Being labelled as ‘misbehaving’, excluded from lessons, isolated from friends
- Lack of understanding about the impact mental health has on attendance, achievement and behaviour
- The lack of support for our mental health led some young people to struggle academically and leave school
- For those young people receiving treatment in hospital not supported to receive a full education.
The report makes the following four recommendations:
- Provide mental health support that meets young people’s needs. Everyone aged 11-25 should be able to access early mental health support, without an appointment or a referral, in their local area.
- Tackle racism in secondary schools. There must be a legal duty for schools to report on racist incidents.
- Make it easier for young people to get help from NHS mental health services. Everyone involved in providing NHS mental health services should work together to make it easier for young people to access mental health care.
- Stop treating mental health problems as bad behaviour. Schools should be banned from putting young people in isolation as a punishment. All teaching staff should take action to understand the causes of young people’s behaviour.