In recent years there has been an increase in reported cases of pupils struggling with their mental health within schools. The main issues flagged are anxiety and depression. So how can we look to support pupils who are showing signs of concern?
As pupil numbers are increasing, yet staff numbers are decreasing, there is more pressure than ever to ensure that all members of the team can identify any issues or concerns when it comes to pupil’s mental health.
There are a number of signs to look out for, however, these can vary between ages and from pupil to pupil:
- A change in personality
- Uncharacteristic anxiety, moodiness or anger
- Changes in behaviour
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Lack of self-care or risky behaviours
- A general sense of hopelessness, guilt, despair or feeling overwhelmed
Each school will have their own escalation process when it comes to pupils’ mental health concerns. It is imperative that all members of staff are aware of this process or can readily access the process when they have concerns. This should also be bolstered by regular updates and a minimum of one designated mental health support officer.
Within the school, there should be a wellness programme to help those that are struggling with their mental health get back to themselves. If your school currently doesn’t have this sort of programme, or even space, it’s worth considering as more students are speaking up about their mental health.
Promote Positive Mental Health
With increasing pressure on Teaching Assistants and Support Staff to see the signs of a pupil’s mental health decline, it is important that they are supplied with the knowledge and understanding to identify, handle and escalate any concerns.
Our Level 3 Understanding Mental Health qualification helps to aid your team towards addressing these issues.
For more information on the qualification, or to discuss enrolling multiple team members, please contact the team directly.