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Four in five parents call for a greater focus on mental health in the core curriculum

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Four in five parents call for greater focus on mental health in the core curriculum as over half express concerns for children’s emotional wellbeing

  • Latest research, commissioned by Britvic and Bounce Forward, finds that more than four in five (81%) parents believe schools should include mental resilience and emotional wellbeing as part of the core curriculum, alongside subjects like Maths and English.
  • However, three quarters (76%) of teachers say they lack the time and a third (33%) say they lack the skillset to effectively support pupils, with the majority expressing a desire for additional training.
  • To help, Britvic has confirmed plans to fund children’s psychological fitness charity Bounce Forward to deliver wellbeing teaching resources and training to parents, teachers and students to equip young people with the psychological fitness skills they need to thrive. 

Today (Tuesday  30 May), new research conducted on behalf of Britvic and wellbeing charity Bounce Forward, reveals the concerns of parents and teachers about the lack of resources dedicated to tackling rising mental wellbeing challenges for children.

As children grapple with the pressures of growing up, three in five (58%) parents surveyed expressed concerns about their child’s mental resilience and emotional wellbeing. More than four in five (81%) also believe lessons in mental health should be added to the curriculum alongside Maths and English for children in primary and secondary school.

These findings come as Britvic announces a multi-year funding partnership with Bounce Forward, a charity which aims to integrate mental resilience and wellbeing training into the core school curriculum in an effort to equip children with the tools to manage challenging situations in day-to-day life.

Teachers are often the first port of call for students struggling with the challenges of everyday life, with three in five (64%) teachers saying that their students turn to them at least once a week for advice about their wellbeing. But it’s not just students that look to education professionals. Over half of parents (53%) would turn to teachers if they were concerned with their child’s mental resilience. Whereas only a third (34%) would turn to their GP.

Despite the classroom being the place that both parents and students turn for support, three quarters (76%) of teachers feel that they lack the time and a third (33%) believe they don’t have the skillset to support children with these challenges.

Recognising the importance of helping students cope with everyday challenges like homework, disagreements with friends or challenges at home, nine in ten (89%) teachers believe they would benefit from additional training in mental resilience and emotional wellbeing. Parents also agree schools should be better equipped, with 77% believing they need greater resources to help children prepare for the mental and emotional challenges of life.

As part of the partnership between Britvic and Bounce Forward, Britvic employees have nominated almost 150 schools in their communities to receive fully funded support from Bounce Forward. The funding will provide the schools and their teachers with high quality training and equip them with evidence-based teaching and learning resources. This will enable them to deliver weekly lessons so children can learn and develop the skills to build their mental resilience and emotional wellbeing, so they become healthy and happy adults.

Lucy Bailey, CEO & Founder of Bounce Forward, said:

“I know teachers recognise the need to teach mental resilience and emotional wellbeing, but the reality is that this type of teaching and learning is not given the space in the curriculum that it deserves. Parents and students are looking to the classroom for advice as they struggle in the face of unprecedented mental health challenges, and the disruption to learning and life chances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The question now is: can we afford to ignore the need for mental health education any longer?

“Now more than ever we need to build psychological fitness in children, young people and the adults around them to ensure a thriving society that can navigate the 21st century. Through our partnership with Britvic, we can shift the narrative from a ‘mental health crisis’ to one of empowerment for the next generation by supporting schools across the nation to better prepare young people with the mental and emotional agility they need to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.”

Kathryn Partridge, Britvic group corporate affairs director, added:

“Through our new charity partnership, Britvic is supporting Bounce Forward to help more children build their psychological fitness, and help ignite the conversation about the importance of children’s mental resilience.

“Britvic is committed to having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate through our Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainable business programme. We have long supported opportunities for young people through our award-winning early careers programmes, including our apprenticeships, our support for 18-24-year-olds through the Government’s Kickstart scheme, and our brand partnership with The Princes Trust. We are delighted to have begun our partnership with Bounce Forward and are excited to support this important cause.”

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