Teachers Are Not Being Adequately Trained In Mental Health Support
8th March 2018
By Caitlin Rutherford
An online survey conducted by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) of 3000 teachers has shown that overall they do not feel that they or their schools are sufficiently trained in mental health to be able to support their pupils.
The survey showed:
66% said that they feel they had not been sufficiently trained in mental health in order to carry out their role properly.
Only 1% recalled having done detailed work on mental health when they were student teachers.
1/3 of the teachers said that their school dealt with mental health matters effectively.
Only 12% felt they had been adequately trained.
The SAMH chief executive Billy Watson has said that in every classroom there are three students experiencing mental health problems who struggle to gain the help that they need. He says that mental health care is important in schools as it can affect the students’ lives when they become adults.
There is currently no set national strategy for how schools should deal with mental health and Mental Health Minister Ms. Watt has said that “some will provide access to school based counselling. Others will be supported by pastoral care staff and liaise with the Educational Psychological Services, family and health services for specialist support when required.” This lack of standardised support across all schools may be a reason as to why there is insufficient help in 2/3s of them.
The Scottish government has said it has started a national review of personal and social education, including consideration of the role of guidance and counselling in schools, and SAMH has said it wants to see counselling services in all of Scotland’s secondary schools by 2020.
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