Best Practice

Supporting your students' mental health

How can you develop a whole-school approach to supporting your students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing? Mick Atkinson offers some practical advice.

Among those working at the chalkface of secondary education, the need to support pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health is widely recognised. This need is highlighted through the following statistics:

One in 10 young people, or at least three in every class, has a behavioural or emotional difficulty (Green, et al., 2005).

Almost half of young people with fewer than five GCSEs graded A* to C said they “always” or “often” feel down or depressed, compared with 30 per cent of young people who are more qualified (Prince’s Trust, 2012).

In an average classroom: 10 young people will have witnessed their parents separate, one will have experienced the death of a parent, and seven will have been bullied (Faulkner, 2011).

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