By 2025, the government demands every school to have a designated mental health lead in place. With more than 40% of teachers stating they don’t feel confident helping students with their mental health, accredited courses and qualifications would be welcomed and mental health training for teachers should become the norm.
In this article, we’re going to review whether mental health training for teachers is essential. First, we’ll look at how training can support students, and then identify the best courses teachers can take.
How Mental Health in Schools Training Can Support Students
The pandemic had a significant impact on many children and young people’s mental health, resulting in 1 in 6 children in England having a probable mental health disorder in 2021. In addition, half of all mental health conditions are established before the age of 14.
Teachers’ mental health training is a form of early intervention and can prevent problems escalating later down the line. It will also give the adults the information and skills to look after their own mental health, setting a strong example for the young people.
By providing professional support during this time of their lives, students are provided with support and insight right from the start as well as on a daily basis. The environment they learn in every day will be a safe space for them and the importance of their mental wellbeing can be understood to support a positive mental health for life.
Mental Health Training Courses for Teachers
The Mental First Aid England 2 Day Youth Course is designed for those who work with, live or support young people between the ages of 8 – 18. Mental Health First Aiders are vital in every workplace, but specifically in schools where it is encouraged from a young age that it’s OK to ask for help.
Training For Life has directly helped over 50,000 students across the East of England through mental health training courses. Our aim is to create a future where every young person has access to support if they need it; this includes advocating for mental health training for teachers to support students.
If we are training young people in mental health awareness to aid early intervention and ensure a proactive approach to wellbeing, then we should be training the staff in education settings. This is reinforced by the government’s decision to rubber stamp legislation around mental health support, by voting in a previous green paper that will come into force in 2025. This legislation will ensure that every education establishment in the country has a mental health trained lead and an accompanying mental health policy for young people. Education settings shouldn’t wait until their hand is forced; they should adopt best practice now.Richard Stewart, Managing Director of Training For Life