Youth Mental Health Day 2023 - #BeBrave
Tuesday, 19th September marks Youth Mental Health Day 2023. A chance to put mental health in the spotlight and encourage young people (and the adults around them) to talk openly about mental health and wellbeing.
The theme of this year’s Youth Mental Health Day is #BeBrave. Being brave can mean something different to everyone, and for young people struggling with their mental health, ‘everyday tasks’ like going to school can become a real challenge.
The link between mental health and attendance
From the cost-of-living crisis to the impact of social media, exam stress and bullying, it’s no surprise that mental health is a major factor contributing to school absence rates, with 1 in 10 severely absent pupils having a diagnosed social, emotional and mental health need.
Recent NHS data has also revealed that the number of children in mental health crisis has hit record highs in England, with more than 3,500 urgent referrals made in May alone.
As these frightening numbers continue to rise, the organisations in place to support young people are struggling to cope with demand. Educators are doing what they can, but schools are facing their own challenges when it comes to supporting mental health and wellbeing.
Pupil mental health and wellbeing is the greatest challenge in schoolsEarlier this year, Thrive conducted research with Supporting Education Group to explore the difficulties associated with mental health and wellbeing in schools. Responses from over 600 educators revealed that:
- The mental health and wellbeing of pupils is the greatest current challenge in schools.
- The picture is predicted to get worse, not better.
- Over a third of schools aren’t measuring the effectiveness of the support they provide.
- Staff training is considered to be the most effective way to support pupil mental health and wellbeing, yet is the least likely initiative to have already been adopted by schools.
The need for a whole school approach
To tackle the challenge educators are facing, a whole school approach to mental health is needed.
The Department for Education (DfE) is championing a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing as best practice. This involves identifying and addressing the needs of pupils, staff and the wider community and creating a school environment that removes barriers to learning.
To support this, the DfE is offering schools and colleges in England a £1,200 grant to fund Mental Health Lead training – of which Thrive is a quality-assured provider.
In line with Public Health England’s 8 principles for a whole school approach, Thrive’s training explores how to effectively assess your setting’s current mental health and wellbeing provision, and how to develop a sustainable, long-term plan for improvement.
Keen to learn more about a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing?
We’ve launched an upcoming Thrive in Action session on leading a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in response to the results of our recent survey.
Thrive’s Viv Trask-Hall will introduce you to the scale of the problem, how to spot the signs of poor mental health in children and young people, and the whole school approach educators are embracing to lead emotionally healthy schools.
We’re connecting online between 4pm and 4.45pm BST on Wednesday 27th September. Click here to join us live or sign up for the recording.