Pupils Failed Again Due to Lack of ‘Mental Health’ Understanding

When I think back to my life at secondary school, I think of failed friendships, bullying, hatred, confidence issues and the beginning of my Mental Health. I remember not receiving enough support from ‘friends’ or tutors and was certainly left to cope alone… I ‘acted up’ and was branded a ‘problem’; even the head-teacher did not have time for me and wanted to exclude me for some ‘acting up’ I had done, even though I was standing up for myself against bullying. I was bullied ever so badly in secondary school, I was attacked by one student, talked about and called ‘mad’ on many occasions, and it hurt me deep down even if I didn’t show it. Despite the school knowing I was being bullied, it was me that was in the wrong (according to them, anyway) and I never did get their support, but instead was left to fail. The ‘problem child’ was just left and that was that, I didn’t get my GCSES in secondary school, they didn’t care for me, nor did they fully understand Mental Health. I strongly feel it should be taught on all school curriculum and after reading an article today, I continue to support this vision.

The article I read, I felt a great deal of empathy and understanding towards.

“The Department for Education has launched guidance to help schools in England spot mental health issues.”

 I was here around five years ago now, it wasn’t easy and those who had Mental Health during school-years may also understand the article well. The article is named ‘Pupils in poor Mental Health not troublemakers’; this was exactly how I was seen by many staff at my former school, instead of being understood they just didn’t want to bother.

What I want to question is though, why the government has just started wanting to help mental health in schools? They have had years to do so, even by providing teachers better training with Mental Health awareness and understanding or making Mental Health a compulsory unit in Science or ECM, yet they have failed to do anything until recently. Many have been failed by schools and the blame isn’t those with Mental Health, it’s the schools who fail to accept and understand what Mental Health can do to those who suffer with it.


“Too many young people with unmet mental health needs are unfairly labelled as troublemakers, says the Education Minister, Elizabeth Truss.” This is an accurate statement, yet shows the failure of many staff in schools, why should Mental Health be branded as a trouble? Support and understanding should have been had years ago.

“Up a quarter of five- to 16-year olds may have, or be at risk of, mental health problems, says the DfE.” This shows that there is a huge need for better resources in schools, so why are they failing to see this? Are the cutbacks to blame?

“Teachers are not therapists but they play a vital role in the lives of their pupils,” said Ms Truss. Yes fair point, but teachers need to understand the condition a lot more and better, why shouldn’t they know about Mental Health but know about students?

So this seems like a good step in the right direction, launching guidance to help schools identify and spot Mental Health issues in students is great, but is this for all schools or just a select few? And are teachers going to be made to fully understand and appreciate Mental Health as well as other students? Or will it be a fly-by guide that isn’t understood? I really do hope that this guidance serves its purpose of stopping Mental Health be seen as a ‘trouble-maker’ problem and show that it’s something those who have it, have to live with and the stigma isn’t needed!

Read the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-27869623

Let me know your views. @mattcliffy25 or leave a comment, thank you.

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