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The Current Mental Health Crisis The position in the UK In the UK one in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any one year. This has a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and for those affected, it can affect their . . . ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day. The economic cost to the UK is between £70 to £100 billion a year. Equally challenging is the estimate that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.  For some years now, the UK Government has been debating how to best manage this crisis – especially with respect to children and young people – given that early intervention has been generally proven to yield the best results. In December 2017, the Government pledged £300 million to help schools tackle mental health issues. Shortly after this pledge, the Government also released the long awaited Green Paper, which suggests that the Government and schools need to do more boost mental health. See ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: A Green Paper’ (the Green Paper). https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paperIn the Green Paper, particular focus was placed on strategies being less stigmatised, evidenced-based and requiring a whole school approach.   The impact of the crisis on school communities Research shows that there is an increase in mental health issues in schools and that the most common problems are stress, anxiety and depression. It is important to note that issues are not only experienced by pupils, but by staff as well.   Mental health issues can have a devastating impact on school communities; affecting overall health, job-satisfaction, enjoyment of school, performance and academic results, mood, relationships, quality of life and general wellbeing. Increased pressure and higher expectations are partly to blame for the increase in mental health issues. This is because pupils, parents and staff want to achieve more than ever before. The simple solution is to reduce pressure and expectations, and to some extent this needs to happen. However, this is not feasible for schools that need to maintain optimal results to survive. Furthermore, schools are reluctant to interfere with an individual’s desire to aim high or excel. Many pupils and staff are aware of the benefits of counselling, but shy away from it due to stigma, shame, working long hours, not having any free time and/or not wanting to miss work/class. So, how do we manage expectations and wellbeing when most parents and school staff want pupils to do well, but not at the cost of their mental health or wellbeing? Coaching as a solution With the mental health crisis and pastoral care coming more into focus, savvy schools are starting to set aside budgets to boost Enrichment and PSHE initiatives, and develop training and prevention strategies as a way of attracting prospective pupils and parents. However, it is likely that budgets will remain limited – even in the wake of the Government's pledge in late 2017 - and schools are struggling to know how best to spend their money, and do so wisely. In addition to boosting traditional services such as counselling, many of the UK’s leading schools are also considering cheaper, evidenced-based and less stigmatised options, such as coaching, to prevent issues, broaden support and boost accessibility. Coaching helps staff and pupils successfully manage basic performance, relationship, and wellbeing issues. These types of issues often sit at the heart of mental health problems, and if managed successfully, not only foster optimal performance and success within a school community, but also help staff and pupils to feel happier, healthier and more productive in all aspects of life. Some specific ways that coaching might benefit a school community include the following: It can be staff led, making a school more independent and less reliant on costly external consultants. It empowers pupils and staff to solve problems, make decisions and accomplish goals. It offers pupils and staff structured sessions that are focused, time limited and cost effective. It provides pupils and staff with an alternative option to counselling – this is useful for pupils and staff that don’t want counselling, but still want or need support. It is complementary and helpful to counselling and other support services. It provides pupils and staff with an additional layer of support for basic issues – useful when counselling services are over- stretched. It can be an extra catch and referral point with respect to more complex issues.
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The Current Mental Health Crisis

The Current Mental Health Crisis The position in the UK In the UK one in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any one year. This has a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and for those affected, it can affect their . . . ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day. The economic cost to the UK is between £70 to £100 billion a year. Equally challenging is the estimate that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.  For some years now, the UK Government has been debating how to best manage this crisis – especially with respect to children and young people – given that early intervention has been generally proven to yield the best results. In December 2017, the Government pledged £300 million to help schools tackle mental health issues. Shortly after this pledge, the Government also released the long awaited Green Paper, which suggests that the Government and schools need to do more boost mental health. See ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: A Green Paper’ (the Green Paper). https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paperIn the Green Paper, particular focus was placed on strategies being less stigmatised, evidenced-based and requiring a whole school approach.   The impact of the crisis on school communities Research shows that there is an increase in mental health issues in schools and that the most common problems are stress, anxiety and depression. It is important to note that issues are not only experienced by pupils, but by staff as well.   Mental health issues can have a devastating impact on school communities; affecting overall health, job-satisfaction, enjoyment of school, performance and academic results, mood, relationships, quality of life and general wellbeing. Increased pressure and higher expectations are partly to blame for the increase in mental health issues. This is because pupils, parents and staff want to achieve more than ever before. The simple solution is to reduce pressure and expectations, and to some extent this needs to happen. However, this is not feasible for schools that need to maintain optimal results to survive. Furthermore, schools are reluctant to interfere with an individual’s desire to aim high or excel. Many pupils and staff are aware of the benefits of counselling, but shy away from it due to stigma, shame, working long hours, not having any free time and/or not wanting to miss work/class. So, how do we manage expectations and wellbeing when most parents and school staff want pupils to do well, but not at the cost of their mental health or wellbeing? Coaching as a solution With the mental health crisis and pastoral care coming more into focus, savvy schools are starting to set aside budgets to boost Enrichment and PSHE initiatives, and develop training and prevention strategies as a way of attracting prospective pupils and parents. However, it is likely that budgets will remain limited – even in the wake of the Government's pledge in late 2017 - and schools are struggling to know how best to spend their money, and do so wisely. In addition to boosting traditional services such as counselling, many of the UK’s leading schools are also considering cheaper, evidenced-based and less stigmatised options, such as coaching, to prevent issues, broaden support and boost accessibility. Coaching helps staff and pupils successfully manage basic performance, relationship, and wellbeing issues. These types of issues often sit at the heart of mental health problems, and if managed successfully, not only foster optimal performance and success within a school community, but also help staff and pupils to feel happier, healthier and more productive in all aspects of life. Some specific ways that coaching might benefit a school community include the following: It can be staff led, making a school more independent and less reliant on costly external consultants. It empowers pupils and staff to solve problems, make decisions and accomplish goals. It offers pupils and staff structured sessions that are focused, time limited and cost effective. It provides pupils and staff with an alternative option to counselling – this is useful for pupils and staff that don’t want counselling, but still want or need support. It is complementary and helpful to counselling and other support services. It provides pupils and staff with an additional layer of support for basic issues – useful when counselling services are over- stretched. It can be an extra catch and referral point with respect to more complex issues.
Continue reading...