In 2020 the government made mental health education compulsory across all schools in the UK, but do you know how?
Our founder’s charity, ShawMind, set out on a mission in 2017 to make this happen. They collected 103,300 signatures to spark a debate in parliament and by 2020 they won the debate and since then schools are required to educate their students on different areas of mental health.
But why is this important?
There are countless reasons as to why it’s important to teach children from a young age about mental health, it reduces strain on the NHS and the economy. By normalising mental health issues, through compulsory mental health education, it will allow children to feel confident enough to open up to each other. This, in turn, will also foster a more proactive society, better equipped for dealing with mental illness.
It is only compulsory in statutory schools up until the end of secondary school, sixth form and college are not required to educate, but are encouraged to do the same. In primary school children are taught to understand that there is a normal range of emotions, and that they will differ depending on certain experiences. They will also learn that it’s normal for people to experience ill mental health and how to recognise signs of it and ask for help.
In secondary school children will learn about understanding how and why they feel certain emotions, and develop the proper language they use to talk about their bodies, health and emotion. They will understand what words cannot be used when talking about mental health and the reasoning behind it, they will also be taught about different types of mental health illnesses, how to spot signs, seek help and speak out.
This is all significant to the development of a young mind and how they approach mental health in themselves and others. By having a better understanding of it all, we can prevent early development of mental health issues, therefore children grow up happier, healthier and with more resilience, but they will also be more confident to speak up because of the normalisation of mental health and the effects it can have on people. It will also allow for people to connect more easily if everyone is educated in the same and proper manner of the curriculum.
Is there anything else we can do alongside this?
Absolutely! ShawMind and TriggerHub didn’t stop at mental health education! TriggerHub offers bibliotherapy (also known as book therapy) for early years and schools. With an extensive range of books that teach about emotions, help children visualise certain situations and provide lived experiences and expert help in understanding, educating and normalising mental health.
TriggerHub offers these books in both physical and digital formats, whether it’s a hub of colourful books you need for your early years, or an instantly accessible app for your secondary school students to look at whenever they like!
Check out what TriggerHub has to offer by heading over to our website via the links below:
Early Years: https://www.triggerhub.org/early-years/
Secondary School: https://www.triggerhub.org/early-years/
You can also contact us on: [email protected]
If you have a moment to fill out our primary school mental health survey, it would be greatly appreciated so we can get a valuable insight into the pressure primary schools are facing and the type of support that will have a meaningful impact in the classroom.