Around 1 in 8 children and young people experience behavioural or emotional problems growing up. For some, these will resolve with time, while others will need professional support.
It can be difficult to know if there is something upsetting a child or young person, but there are ways to spot when something's wrong.
Look out for:
- significant changes in behaviour
- ongoing difficulty sleeping
- withdrawing from social situations
- not wanting to do things they usually like
- self-harm or neglecting themselves
Remember, everyone feels low, angry or anxious at times. But when these changes last for a long time or are significantly affecting them, it might be time to get professional help.
Why does this matter to us in schools?
Primary school is a major stage in childhood. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS 2014) about one in ten (9.5%) 5 to 10 year olds met the criteria for at least one mental disorder. One in thirty (3.4%) met the criteria for two or more*.
*mental disorders were identified according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD-1). To count as a disorder symptoms had to cause significant distress to the child or impair their functioning.
- The Good Childhood report (2019 The Children’s Society) reported a significant decrease in children’s happiness with life as a whole.
- Overall 12.8% of 5-18 year olds are currently suffering from a diagnosable mental illness (ONS)
- Around one in three families includes someone who suffers from a diagnosable mental illness
- The annual cost of mental ill health to the UK is reportedly £51.6 Billion (ONS)
Almost half of all UK national absenteeism and incapacity claims among the working age population are due to mental illness
What can we as a school do to help?
Intervening early can make all of the difference. Most young people who experience mental health issues recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them if they get help early on. We are in the process of developing our Mental Health and wellbeing support program in school: This includes:
Working with the Mental Health support team (MHST) from Hounslow in the form of an Educational Wellbeing Practitioner (EWP) who works with us to provide early intervention support for mild to moderate mental health issues such as anxiety, behavioural or friendship issues as well as providing help to staff within our school setting.
Identify and train a Designated Senior Mental Health Lead (Kay Richards SENDCO) to over- see Mental Health provision in our school
Train staff to recognise and be aware of Adverse Childhood Experiences and childhood trauma (Kay Richards SENDCO)
Make the most of Early Help training and develop awareness of what the Early Help Hub Hounslow can offer (Kay Richards (SENDCO)
Invest in employing an Early Intervention Behavioural specialist Sara Baranowski
Develop resources and useful web links area of school website focusing on Mental Health and wellbeing
Implement a ‘Mental Health triage’ system to help identify what role the school can play in supporting children with possible mental health issues, with clear signposting to outside agencies if deemed to be too complex or beyond what we can offer
Develop our curriculum to include wellbeing and mental good health awareness education across the school
Continue to use pupil voice eg school and class council give us regular feedback to ensure meaningful engagement, action and feedback from pupils about factors affecting them
Ensure regular Safeguarding and Early identification training to all staff regarding pupil wellbeing and mental wellbeing
What does our strategy look like?
What is the role of the Mental Health Practicioner?
- The Mental Health Support Teams are part of an exciting trailblazer project funded by NHS England, Health Education England and partners. Their aim is to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in schools.
- There are 3 Mental Health Support Teams spanning East, West and Central Hounslow
- The team is made up of newly trained Educational Wellbeing Practitioners (EWPs) and trainee Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, who work with young people and the parents of children with anxiety and challenging behaviour.
- Interventions are preventative and are designed to improve early access and early intervention for mental health services in Hounslow.
- They can deliver evidence based low level interventions with children and their families either individually or in small groups
- They do not respond to mental health crisis
Where else can I go for help? Ask us to contact the Early Help Hub
What is CAMHS and how can they help?
Other Links +
|Hounslow Youth Counselling Service||
HYCS offers a free, 1-2-1 counselling service just for young people. The service is confidential and anyone aged 11-25 who lives, works or studies in the Borough of Hounslow can self-refer to our free service.
|Hounslow Young Carers||Hounslow young carers project offers support and advice to young carers under 18 in the borough of Hounslow. The project provides information and advice, activities in the school holidays and a weekly youth club. The project is a chance for the young carers to have a break from their caring role and for them to meet other young carers who are in a similar situation||Click here|
|Hounslow Local Offer||Find out what is available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)||Click here|
|Childline||A free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything||Click here|