Wednesday 1 June 2016

Mental health professionals to be placed in primary schools

"PRIMARY school children in Oxfordshire are set to get help from mental health professionals based in their schools."

"A pilot scheme will see the trained staff attend three primary schools in Oxfordshire from September, with the potential for the programme to be rolled out across the county..."

"Experts said a combination of modern pressures on children and a decreasing taboo around mental illness meant more pupils were being identified as suffering and from a younger age."

"Windmill Primary School headteacher Lynn Knapp said she had seen evidence of primary-aged children self-harming and that mental health issues were more prominent than ever before."

"She said: `There are more demands on children such as curriculum demands and attainment pressures."

"More parents are working, there are less opportunities to talk to them at home and children are more likely to be in school from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm..."

She seems to be saying that too much school is bad for children`s mental health. The charity Restore has its own ideas and sees increasing social-economic deprivation and austerity as risk factors. The answer: put mental health professionals into schools, but really any excuse will do to get close to children.

Mindhacks questions whether there is a child mental health crises, pointing out that the data is weak, particularly for younger children.
"Are children more likely to report emotional distress in 2016 compared to 1974 even if they feel the same? Really, we don’t know...So talk of a ‘crisis in rising levels of child mental health problems’ is, on balance, an exaggeration, but we shouldn’t dismiss the trends that the data do suggest... One of the strongest is the rise in anxiety and depression in teenage girls."
"All of which brings us to the question- why is there so much talk about a ‘mental health crisis’ in young people if there is no strong data that there is one?"
I think we need to look at the growing army of children`s charities to answer that.

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