Two thirds of teachers feel they lack the appropriate training to help identify mental health issues in pupils according to a new report.
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) poll found that while six in ten of those surveyed (62%) felt able to identify behaviour that could be linked to mental health issues, only one in three (32%) felt they received appropriate mental health training to identify problems in pupils. The NFER report suggests that these findings show that school staff are gaining knowledge on how to deal with mental health issues by other means than in-school training.
Of ways to support pupils’ mental health in schools, over half of respondents listed training staff on mental health and wellbeing as a useful strategy. The three most useful strategies identified by respondents were:
counselling services for pupils (60%)
training for staff on mental health and wellbeing (52%)
strong engagement with families and young people (29%
In comparison, when asked what strategies were already being provided by schools to support pupils’ mental health, training for staff on mental health and wellbeing did not feature. The main three strategies in schools according to the respondents were:
counselling for pupils (62%)
strong engagement of families and young people (42%)
teaching age-appropriate lessons about mental health (29%)