Best Practice

Why natural learning environments matter

With increasing prevalence of mental health problems and concern over other issues such as myopia, the case for creating more natural learning environments and taking learning outside has never been stronger. Dorothy Lepkowska takes a look

The raft of research that now exists on mental health makes for sobering reading, with young people listing a catalogue of problems and challenges that are making them sad, anxious, depressed and even suicidal.

In November, for example, NHS statistics revealed that 12.8 per cent – roughly one in eight – five to 19-year-olds had at least one mental health disorder when assessed in 2017. This figure rises to 16.9 per cent of 17 to 19-year-olds.

The analysis also found that one in four children aged 11 to 16 with a mental health problem have self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point. This figure rises to almost half of young people aged 17 to 18 with a disorder.

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