Mental health provision in schools at crisis point, research finds

February 12, 2018, University of Manchester

Experts have called for a significant and urgent increase in resources to support the mental health of young people in schools, after a study uncovered a perfect storm of increased need and decreased provision.

The study explored the impact of current policies on the mental work that school staff are involved in. The results showed that are increasingly talking to school staff about – with welfare reform and broader cuts to other services adding significantly to the pressures people face—but there are fewer resources available, and staff feel under-equipped to deal with the increasing level of emotional concerns.

The researchers believe that this will potentially lead to an increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession.

The prime minister has noted her desire to reform children and young people's , and the government has recently published a green paper on the issue. However, the researchers have found that the proposals in the paper do not satisfactorily address the fundamental concern that further funding and resources are required to provide a suitably skilled workforce.

They recommend that the proposals need to take account of the impact of social and political factors on student wellbeing and extend to include the statutory provision of counsellors in all schools. Mental health awareness courses have been suggested for those working in schools, but the researchers say that these are not a substitute for qualified .

"Schools are under pressure to ensure that young people succeed academically and their needs are catered for, but staff are highlighting that they are at the limits of what they can do to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils, and that austerity is putting them under more pressure," said Dr. Terry Hanley.

"The recent green paper does not, in our eyes, go anywhere near far enough—without the addition of qualified professionals, schools are likely to end up dealing with increasingly complex issues without the resource of trained staff to deal with them."

Explore further: Current mental health screenings alone not accurate enough to help elementary students, study finds

Related Stories

Current mental health screenings alone not accurate enough to help elementary students, study finds

January 19, 2018
The Missouri Department of Mental Health reports that more than 80 percent of the 97,000 young Missourians who needed treatment for serious mental health problems in 2015 did not receive public mental health support. Many ...

Many European schools face barriers to providing mental health support to students

May 4, 2016
In a cross-national study of what European schools are doing to support student mental health and well-being, 47% of surveyed schools indicated that mental health provision is a high/essential priority, but more than half ...

Mental health nurses under 'intolerable pressure'

January 27, 2016
Mental health nurses are facing huge pressures because cuts and merging of services are causing a strain on services not seen since the 1980s, according to Alan Simpson, a Professor of Collaborative Mental Health Nursing ...

Cuts to mental health services putting young people at risk, say experts

September 15, 2017
Funding cuts and austerity measures are damaging young people's access to mental health services, with potentially long-term consequences for their mental wellbeing, say researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Study links mental health to poor school results

December 18, 2017
A national survey led by The University of Western Australia has painted a bleak picture of the effect of mental disorders on Australia's school students with the results revealing poorer academic outcomes, more absences ...

Parents not confident schools can assist child with chronic disease, mental health

September 18, 2017
If your child had an asthma attack during the school day, would school personnel know how to respond?

Recommended for you

Greening vacant lots reduces feelings of depression in city dwellers, study finds

July 20, 2018
Greening vacant urban land significantly reduces feelings of depression and improves overall mental health for the surrounding residents, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts & Sciences ...

New study questions use of talking therapy as a treatment for schizophrenia

July 20, 2018
The findings of the first meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) on improving the quality of life and functioning and reducing distress of people diagnosed with schizophrenia ...

Perfectionism in young children may indicate OCD risk

July 19, 2018
Studying young children, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that kids who possess tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control are twice as likely as other children to ...

Younger children tend to make more informed decisions

July 19, 2018
A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that in some ways, the older you get the worse your decision making becomes.

Finding well-being through an aerial, as opposed to ground-level, view of time

July 19, 2018
Do today and yesterday and tomorrow loom large in your thinking, with the more distant past and future barely visible on the horizon? That's not unusual in today's time-pressed world—and it seems a recipe for angst.

Are you prone to feeling guilty? Then you're probably more trustworthy, study shows

July 19, 2018
It turns out your mother was right: guilt is a powerful motivator.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.