At InterwellBeing we have a wealth of experience working with schools, colleges and universities. We understand the responsibility that is felt by professionals working in this sector to help and protect those young people in their care. We also understand that for workers in the education sector this responsibility can often feel overwhelming if they are left to support young people without specialist training.
Young people are inherently vulnerable to poor mental health. Allowing a young person’s mental health issues to continue without intervention can impact them for the rest of their lives. One in four university students are affected by issues such as depression and anxiety. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/feb/15/universities-and-the-nhs-must-join-forces-to-boost-student-mental-health. Similarly, the problem is reflected in schools where one in five children have a diagnosable emotional, behavioural or mental health disorder, and one in ten have issues severe enough to impair their functioning at home, school or in the community. http://www.acmh-mi.org/get-help/navigating/problems-at-school/.
The government’s green paper Impact Assessment for Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health suggests ‘there is a need to increase support to children and young people with mild to moderate mental health conditions.’ https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728894/impact-assessment-for-tranforming-cy-mental-health-provision-green-paper.pdf.
However, it is not just young people who are bearing the impact of mental illness. An article, written by Dr. Zoe Boer examines the increasing pressure to manage young people’s mental health placed on professionals in the education sector and youth workers generally. https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-31/march-2018/step-too-far-teachers. This pressure inevitably effects a professional’s ability to complete other aspects of their work, can interfere with their personal lives and contribute to the wider issues, such as staff retention.
In order to combat these rising concerns the government green paper, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper/quick-read-transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision aims to place a designated mental health lead in every school and college by 2025. These leads will take a crucial role in overseeing the help given to pupils with mental health issues, help staff to spot and provide support to students who show signs of suffering with their mental health and refer children to professional services when it is needed.
InterwellBeing have already worked with many teachers, lecturers, youth group leaders and student support professionals, to give them the training they need to feel empowered and confident in helping their young people. Our course will provide clear instruction to those working in the education sector to identify symptoms of mental ill-health, to provide immediate first aid, and guide that young person towards the help they need. These steps are often critical to the prevention of more severe problems and the prospective well-being of that young person.
Most importantly our course will allow professionals in the education sector to take care of themselves whilst providing this emotional support. Professionals will learn to manage their relationship with the young people in their care, give them the skills to manage their own mental health and allow them to feel empowered to help.