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The mental health green paper is on the way… but what about staff?

Author: Suzanne O’Connell

As concerns about mental health in schools continue, the government has promised a green paper to look more closely at the issues.

The green paper is expected to consider four themes:

  • preventing mental illness
  • raising awareness among young people and adults to seek help
  • providing the right treatment at the right time in the right place
  • supporting children and young people in clinical settings, schools and the wider world.

human head thinking, made from brush strokes

It is likely that schools will have a key role in what’s expected from future provision. The government pilot focused on improving joint working between Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and school settings which will probably form part of what’s proposed. This will not alleviate the concerns of those responsible for student welfare. Difficulties in accessing CAMHS support are well-known and many will be sceptical about the difference that can be made without significant additional funding.

Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilot: Evaluation Report is available at http://bit.ly/2kPnDv4, Children and Young People’s Mental Health – the Role of Education at http://bit.ly/2zRoKnL and Review of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services at http://bit.ly/2hDjdGX.


However, it’s not only the mental health of students that’s causing concerns…

Some Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that those working in the human health and social work activities, public administration and education sector are more likely to have stress, depression or anxiety than those in other industries.

The report by the HSE on work-related stress, depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain in 2017 will not come as a surprise to many. Given the types of jobs that are identified it is also unsurprising that the majority of those suffering are women in the age group 35 to 44, Further details can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/.

Businesswoman surrounded by work, struggling with their mental health and stress

About the author:

Dr. Suzanne O’Connell is a freelance writer specialising in education. Prior to this, she taught for 23 years and was a headteacher of a junior school in Nuneaton for 11 years.

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