The other week I attended a Mental Health And Well Being In Schools conference in Edinburgh. The day was full of information on how schools in Scotland are tackling the growing problem of mental health in schools.
The main emphasis of the conference was on how schools in Scotland are dealing with the ever increase problem of our children suffering with mental health issues. What was clear is that the resources aren’t there, meaning many kids are slipping through the gaps, meaning they continue to suffer with mental health issues which continue in their adult lives.
The conclusion to try and control the issue, is to get our teachers to help kids learn about mental wellbeing. But this seems unfair on our teachers. Our teachers are already at breaking point with ever increasing pressures being put on them to meet various requirements by the government. They to are are suffer with mental health issues due to the pressures.Yet we are expecting our teachers to also solve the issue of mental health within schools.
Is it fair, we now require our teachers to not only teach but to become mental health counsellors?
What seems to be forgotten is the Parents and Carers, children learn best from their families, so surely we should be looking to help try and stem this crisis?
One speaker made a point that we spend a lot of money on physical health, eating right, exercising. But how much time do we spend looking after our mental wellbeing
But how much time do we spend helping our kids learn how to cope with life, anxiety, stress, depression? How time much do we spend talking to our kids about the importance of mental wellbeing? What are we teaching our kids?
Pretty much nothing…..
It is only recently that talking about mental health has lost some of it taboo. But unless we start talking about it and teaching our kids how to cope with life and help them build resilience, we will continue to see a rise in child mental health problems
It isn’t our teachers jobs to look after our child’s mental health. The job belongs to us the Parent’s it is our responsibility to make sure our kids develop a mental resilience and toughness for life.
Yes, teachers can help spot any issues and there has to be talk about mental wellbeing in class and an emphasis on both physical and mental well being within schools.
But the responsibility stops with us the Parents, it is our job to make sure our kids, learn not only their letters and numbers, but ways in which to give them a mental resilience which will see them through life.
I have no answer for the growing problem we are seeing in schools or why we are seeing this increase. One certain is the access to social media, the abundance of information, the inability we have now to switch off from social media and the world.
What can we as parents do?
We can talk about mental health and take a proactive approach. We can talk to our kids about their feelings and worries. We can show them through our own examples of how we deal with stress and anxiety. And if we aren’t we need to find ways to deal with them and let our kids see us taking action.
It is important to let our kids know they can talk to us, that we will take the time to listen. We can go out and learn with our kids, speak to the charities and school to find resources. Look for courses and workshops like our own Parents Toolkit.
But the number 1 thing we can do is is take a proactive approach with our kids and talk about mental health and to make sure our kids know they can talk about how they are feeling and it is important to seek out help and advice when they are find life hard.
Author: Kerry Arslan
My passion is helping Parent’s support their children. Being dyslexic has given me a deep passion to help kids to develop a positive and resilient mindset for life and I believe as Parent’s we are the best people to do this. As a Parent & Parenting Coach I understand the struggle parents have to support and help their children understand today’s world.