What we can do for Schools

"There is a widely held view that more and more children are experiencing mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and conduct disorders."

YogaBears, Yoga & Mindfulness for primary years is now being taught in primary schools across the UK.

The UK government has acknowledged that mental health support for the younger generations are underfunded and under resourced.

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is an independent charity that champions and supports the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children, young people and their families, reduce hardship and improve value for money in the long run.

In Dec 2017 the EIF released a report titled Social & emotional learning: supporting children and young people’s mental health.

Here is a snap shot of this report;

  • In 2004 (the last national prevalence survey), nearly 10 per cent of all children and young people aged between 5 and 16 in England and Wales had a diagnosable mental health disorder.
  • In 2016, 90 per cent of secondary school headteachers reported that they had seen an increase in rates of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression among their pupils over the previous five years.
  • The Children’s Society’s latest research into children’s wellbeing shows that children are less happy than they were in 2010.
  • A National Study of Health and Wellbeing (a survey of 9,500 children and young people, conducted by NatCen and ONS on behalf of NHS Digital) is currently underway and expected to report in 2018. The results will give us a more up-to-date picture of the mental health of children and young people.

Poor mental health in childhood is associated with a number of negative outcomes in later life, including poorer educational attainment and employment prospects.

 

  • Mental health problems in young people can result in lower educational attainment (for example, children with conduct disorder are twice as likely as other children to leave school with no qualifications) and are strongly associated with behaviours that pose a risk to their health, such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and risky sexual behaviour
The report believes that, Social and emotional learning is a critical part of the solution. Social and emotional skills, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making, are fundamental to children’s health, wellbeing and future success, including their educational attainment. Emotional wellbeing and self-esteem in childhood are strongly associated with good mental health in adulthood. Children’s social skills, self-control, self-regulation and self-efficacy also appear to be important to adult mental health and wellbeing. Like cognitive capabilities, social and emotional skills are malleable. They can be taught and developed throughout childhood, adolescence and beyond. Research also indicates that some social and emotional skills lay the foundation for later skill development. Skills learned in primary school act as building blocks for more complex skills learned throughout secondary school.

The report believed schools play a central role in children and young people’s social, emotional and academic development. Engaging in effective social and emotional programmes is associated with significant short- and longterm improvements for children and young people. The report stated that there is a substantive body of international evidence to indicate that high-quality school-based programmes focused on social and emotional development are associated with significant improvement across the emotional, social, behavioural and academic domains. In addition, they have been proven to reduce the risk of negative youth outcomes, such as antisocial behaviour, crime, substance misuse and mental health problems including anxiety and depression. Children with stronger social and emotional competencies

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