THE Advertiser is today launching a “Class Action” against failing mental health in schools - demanding more help for students and teachers.
Our campaign comes after a survey by MP John Healey found more students and teachers are suffering mental health problems.
Mr Healey wants to see counsellors appointed in every school and shorter waiting times for those needing help - both of which the Advertiser is backing.
His survey of schools in his Wentworth and Dearne constituency found mental health suffering in all 27 schools which took part.
Meanwhile, Wales High headteacher Pepe Di’Iasio admitted children’s mental health was a “ballooning” issue, adding: “The level of support that would have been there previously is no longer there perhaps.”
Three-quarters of secondary schools in Mr Healey’s survey recorded rising severity of students’ problems, as did 80 per cent of primaries.
And half the high schools said staff’s mental health was worse than five years ago.
Mr Healey launched his survey after a GCSE student told him about the impact of exam stress on her classmates.
The MP said: “These results confirm the mental health crisis in our schools and - establish a strong local evidence base that I will now use to press to improve the support available, both locally and nationally.”
Exam pressures, social media, anxiety and low self-esteem were all among the issues affecting mental health, the survey found.
Advertiser editor Andrew Mosley said: “Awareness of mental health problems is undoubtedly increasing. Decades ago no-one really thought about children suffering in this way and certainly in school we didn’t consider that teachers could be struggling.
“But awareness is no good unless it brings change.
“This campaign could improve the future for many children and teachers, not only across the borough, but throughout the country. That is why we have launched Class Action.”
See this week’s Advertiser to read about more of the findings.