6th-12 February 2023 is Children’s Mental Health Week. A week where we should be promoting positive mental health and addressing where we can resolve any issues. But unfortunately, in 2023, we are still educating adults on the signs of children with concerning mental health. 

Working In A School

When it comes to working in a school, we have the most challenging task of noticing subtle differences in a child’s behaviour. While their families may spend more time, particularly one-on-one, with their children, changes in behaviour can be easily disguised in a home setting. Meanwhile, in schools, Teachers, TAs and support staff can notice subtle changes in behaviour, and observe interactions among their peers, which can offer a greater insight into the child’s state of mind. 

Signs To Look For

We find that adults and teenagers are much better at disguising their mental health than young children. Which should mean that spotting the signs is easier. However, when their time is split between school and family, it’s easy for some signs to go unnoticed. 

There are 5 main signs that we recommend looking for with children (and teenagers). These include:

  • Significant changes in behaviour
  • Ongoing difficulty sleeping
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Not wanting to do things they usually like
  • Self-harm or neglecting themselves

Many of these signs can be noticed as stand-alone indicators. However, contact with parents or guardians can help to confirm concerns. 

Taking Action

Most schools will have a procedure in place when it comes to addressing mental health concerns with students. This usually involves a combination of discussing with the school safeguarding lead, contacting parents or guardians, and even seeking advice from designated charities. The school’s particular policy may differ in which action to take first, this can also be dependent on whether the concern comes from actions within the school or concerns over the impact of home life.

If you would like to learn more about Understanding Mental Health in an education setting, please contact the team today who can discuss the course with you. Our courses are entirely delivered online at a pace to suit you, meaning that it can easily fit in around other commitments.