From education to employment

Pay it Forward to Tackle the Mental Health Crisis

Mental health and wellbeing charity @Shaw_Mind is calling on the nation to ‘pay it forward’ to ensure the next generation has the best mental health support available.

The WHO reports that half of mental ill health conditions start by the age of 14, though many go undetected and untreated, and 75% develop by the age of 18. Pre-Covid19, British children as young as five years old were being diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Shaw Mind, a mental health and wellbeing charity, which successfully petitioned parliament in 2017 to table a debate to get the long-term benefits of lessons on mental health and wellbeing being taught in schools in the UK, has launched a campaign ‘Give Five, Save Lives’ to encourage the UK to help fund additional teacher training as mental health and wellbeing becomes part of the curriculum from September.

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shaw Mind, said:

“We owe it to the next generation to do all we can to help prepare them to live happy, balanced and resilient lives. But we have to equip them with the knowledge and support to be able to do that for themselves. We do this in three distinct ways: reaching out and training the children themselves, training the parents, and training the teachers who are in effect the ‘front line’ for children’s mental health at school.

“Our interactive online training courses for teachers will prepare them to confidently deliver the new curriculum as well as identify possible signs of distress in the children under their care, while at the same time taking into consideration the limited time that teachers have available to take on additional training.”

Thanks to financial backing from the National Lottery Communities Fund, Alchemy Foundation, Charities Aid Foundation, Souter Charitable Trust and the Mary Robinson Trust, Shaw Mind has been able to start offering this training to schools.

However, to enable the charity to train anywhere near enough teachers to make a significant difference to the next generation, they are asking the nation to dig deep and get involved in their ‘Give Five, Save Lives’ campaign on the Aviva Community Fund site.

Peter added: “Its costs £100 to train one teacher in one school, but that teacher will go on to support hundreds of pupils during their career. We want each teacher to be well-equipped and confident in offering that support to pupils, whether it’s now, or in ten years’ time.”

Simultaneously, Shaw Mind is calling on schools to get in touch to take up the offer of training to equip more teachers and support staff within the education system to feel confident in teaching this vast subject and supporting their pupils.

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