Children's Mental Health

This month (FEB) we witnessed Children’s Mental Health Week 2018.

At one time, such a milestone would have been unheard of, but the growing realisation that mental health is just as important – if not more – than physical health has seen a switch in attitudes and acceptance.

There is still a certain stigma attached to mental health; let’s face it, we are trying to break down attitudes which have existed for centuries.

It’s been said that one in three of us will suffer with mental health issues, but when you consider grief, depression, anxiety and loneliness, it’s more likely that all of us will suffer at some stage in our lives.

Young people today have more pressure upon them than ever before. While the advent of digital and social media has brought many benefits, it also has much to answer for.

Schools today need to cope with teenage anxiety, anger and issues such as cyber-bullying – and staff face a constant battle to be vigilant when spotting changes in behaviour in the classroom.

CMHW highlighted the importance of ‘Being Ourselves’; we all have strengths and weaknesses, though many young people, full of insecurities and self-doubt, would often beg to differ.

Here at Future Schools Trust, we aim to give pupils confidence and encourage them to have a positive view of themselves; we want them to nurture positive relationships with staff and with their peers, to develop a wide social circle and nurture self-esteem, safe in the knowledge there is help and support available should they start to falter.

In a school the size of our Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone, with 1,550 pupils, there are bound to be students who suffer family bereavement, family break-ups, difficulties arising from their own, siblings’ or parental drug and substance abuse. No school of such a size could possibly escape.

It is part of our job to help our students survive such challenges and learn to deal with life’s harsher experiences in an adult way.

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