(UK) Jewish News: "3 Children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health disorder"

July 3, 2018, Jewish News: Education: Helping students look after their mental health With statistics revealing three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health disorder, it is vital schools allow young people time and space to talk about their feelings, particularly surrounding stress and anxiety…. “We were aware that over the past decade, mental health has become more of a focus in schools, but the provision outside hasn’t really matched the demand. So we knew we needed to enhance what we were doing to be preventative, and give students strategies to use in times of stress rather than just be reactive.” I ask Sarah what feeds students’ stress and anxiety, beyond general teenage concerns. “Primary stresses evolve from being constantly examined, which is a nationwide issue,” she says. There are also more serious issues around self-harm, suicide ideation and eating disorders. Given these concerns, Philippa explains the reasons behind Jami’s pilot scheme. Aside from Head Room, Jami has provided student sessions at JCoSS on stress management and provided mental health training for staff (as it does at other schools). It also facilitated training for parents on teenagers and mental health, and helped train a cohort of ‘peer listeners’ in Year 11. “We’re trying to expand the ways we’re supporting students,” explains Liz. “They might not want to go to a member of staff, but to someone slightly older who knows what to do and who to pass it on to. It’s about responding to children before an issue gets too serious.”