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Primary school teachers ‘not trained to deal with mental health issues’

Sep 21, 2017 by

Over 50% of teachers tell survey they don’t have adequate training in what to do when a child has a mental health problem

More than half of primary school teachers say they do not feel adequately trained in supporting pupils with mental health problems, research suggests.

Just one in 10 “strongly agreed” with the statement that they felt they had the necessary training to feel confident about what action to take when a child was experiencing a mental health problem, compared with 54% who disagreed.

About four in 10 who took part in the YouGov poll said they were not confident they knew which organisations to approach to help a pupil with mental health issues.

The study commissioned by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) found overwhelming agreement among the 330 primary teachers who took part that schools had a crucial role in identifying pupils with mental health problems and that teachers should receive proper training.

But many appeared to feel ill-equipped to meet the needs of the children in their care. Just 12% said they felt “very confident” that they knew which organisations to approach to help pupils with mental health issues.

Three out of 10 of the teachers surveyed said they weren’t confident about recognising when a pupil aged 9-11 might be experiencing a mental health problem. Nevertheless more than seven in 10 said they felt their school was doing a good job at promoting their pupils’ wellbeing.

Theresa May has promised to prioritise addressing mental health issues during her premiership, describing it in her one of her keynote speeches as a “burning injustice”.

Source: Primary school teachers ‘not trained to deal with mental health issues’ | Society | The Guardian

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