Do schools currently do enough to help students with their mental health?

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Look at Moii
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Do schools today have sufficient systems in place to help students who are struggling with their mental health?

With the amount of pressure placed on students to achieve 'good' grades, do you feel that enough support is offered to help cope with the stress that this can bring? Especially when compounded by the additional pressures and stressors that young people are now dealing with?

How have your experiences been with your mental health in school, and do you feel that you received adequate support? What system-wide changes, if any, do you think could be implemented to improve the mental health outcomes of students?
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hxnnxh_13.11.06
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With me, teachers didn't listen to me until they were told that I overdosed earlier on in the year. Then they wouldn't leave me alone. When I relapsed, they were good about it but once I had recovered they didn't want anything to do with me anymore. I got kicked out of the boarding house and that was that.
One good thing they have done is put me on SEN support which I find extremely helpful, I have to admit I wouldn't be here without my SEN teacher. I also have therapy sessions once a week and I find them helpful.
One problem is that now they know about me it's as though even if I 'look sad', they panic about it. I always get asked 'are you okay' because I 'look like I'm down'. It annoys me so much, especially when some of them are denying that I need to go to another GP about this (even though my therapist said that I need to go).
My school is an extremely pressured school, especially for music as that is what it specializes in. It is a high-achieving school, although a fair few of us failed our science mid-year tests (yr9).
We do have fairly decent pastoral support in school, although one thing I'd love to happen is that I can openly speak to some teachers I was able to speak to before, as I feel as though now I have additional support I'm not their problem anymore, and that hurts. I could be so open about things, and now they just don't want to know anymore. Teachers have to understand recovery is a long process and not easy, and that to recover we need their full support all the way, not to just drop us just as we're starting to get better.
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(Original post by Hamish C)
Do schools today have sufficient systems in place to help students who are struggling with their mental health?

With the amount of pressure placed on students to achieve 'good' grades, do you feel that enough support is offered to help cope with the stress that this can bring? Especially when compounded by the additional pressures and stressors that young people are now dealing with?

How have your experiences been with your mental health in school, and do you feel that you received adequate support? What system-wide changes, if any, do you think could be implemented to improve the mental health outcomes of students?
I agree with above, teachers don't care until they do, and then you're a basket case. I just chat to a therapist and keep the school out of it.
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black tea
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I’m not in school any more but the schools I went to certainly didn’t. Perhaps it was to do with the fact that I moved schools frequently, or (more likely) that I was high-achieving and well-behaved, but none of my teachers ever offered any support or directed me towards places where I could get that support despite it being very obvious I was having problems. Having now worked with kids myself, I just find it hard to believe that some pretty obvious red flags were not picked up on/acted on.

I’m not sure I have any ideas about system-wide changes as such, but I feel like it would be nice if teachers didn’t just organise support for pupils who are underachieving or causing chaos in the classroom but perhaps looked out a bit more for less “troublesome” students who may be having difficulties.
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Anonymous #2
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My old school was not helpful at all. They just put me down as a pupil who was a 'troubled child,' which was not always the case. Yes don't get me wrong i was 'naughty,' but that was because i did not know how to deal with emotions. I did not want to be that child who was always kicked out of classes i did not know how to cope. As soon as i left school i was then actually diagnosed with ADHD. Although that is no excuse for how i may have behaved but if teachers may of actually spoke to me about things, then they could of had a better understanding. Like there was few occasions where teachers would see TW, my SH and they did not really do much about it apart from go and then put me in isolation.
However, my college now have been so supportive and i am grateful for their ongoing support
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Hamish C)
Do schools today have sufficient systems in place to help students who are struggling with their mental health?

With the amount of pressure placed on students to achieve 'good' grades, do you feel that enough support is offered to help cope with the stress that this can bring? Especially when compounded by the additional pressures and stressors that young people are now dealing with?

How have your experiences been with your mental health in school, and do you feel that you received adequate support? What system-wide changes, if any, do you think could be implemented to improve the mental health outcomes of students?
no. the biggest issue for me is the fact that the school would inform my parents about any mental health concerns i raise — that would be detrimental in my case, as i struggle a lot with some trauma from my family that i’d need to address if i were to ask for help (dissociation from what may or may not be CPTSD is a big struggle for me, and heavily impacts my studies, causing me so much distress at times).

trigger warning:

Spoiler:
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self-harm and suicidal thoughts are also something i struggle with as well as bouts of depression. if i brought that up, the school would for sure inform my parents.


once, in year 8, i wrote a letter to my best friend after she wrote one about her own struggles and gave it to her before class started. the teacher saw her put it in her bag and seized it — they called my parents and it was terrible. any time i tried to articulate my problems (even if i were speaking to my bedroom wall) or ask for help, my parents would find out, which was so traumatising in itself and has made me too afraid to ever open up to anyone ever again. i was just glad i hadn’t explicitly described every detail of what i was going through in the letter, or they might’ve put me in care.

i can’t ask for help either until i’m 18, or (God forbid) something happens that forces the school to take action. even after my school at the time seized the letter, they treated me like glass for a day and went back to being crappy. i wasn’t offered anything (although i am secretly glad for that!)
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Anonymous #4
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I agree with everyone else. To me teachers preach of good mental health but I do not believe that they care or provide enough support.
I would not know who to talk to or where to get support. They say talk to your teachers (but I would not feel comfortable with that) and then they say talk to your pastoral mentor (like a form tutor) but she does not appear to care about mental health- my mum emailed in saying that i ws feeling really anxious about going in for the last two days as we have high covid cases and she just brushed it off and said I had to go in. She did not ask if I was okay or how anxious i was (e.g. had i had a panic attack).

I used to self harm and have relapsed multiple times and I have suicidal thoughts. I don't have any support and I would not know where to find it or how to ask for it

Also teachers don't care about you outside of term time or at weekends so i would not get a response then
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Other_Owl
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At my first school for GCSEs no but at my second school for A Levels yes.
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urlocalinmate
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School, no. College, yes, if you seek help.
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Anonymous #4
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school (GCSE's) no but they think they do (yeah right)
but college and sixth form is a bit better but you have to actively seek it which is not good for some people and they need to help you seek it
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CosmicApathy1
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(Original post by urlocalinmate)
School, no. College, yes, if you seek help.
Nah my college still don’t give a ****. They’re exactly like my old school.
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CosmicApathy1
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(Original post by hxnnxh_13.11.06)
With me, teachers didn't listen to me until they were told that I overdosed earlier on in the year. Then they wouldn't leave me alone. When I relapsed, they were good about it but once I had recovered they didn't want anything to do with me anymore. I got kicked out of the boarding house and that was that.
One good thing they have done is put me on SEN support which I find extremely helpful, I have to admit I wouldn't be here without my SEN teacher. I also have therapy sessions once a week and I find them helpful.
One problem is that now they know about me it's as though even if I 'look sad', they panic about it. I always get asked 'are you okay' because I 'look like I'm down'. It annoys me so much, especially when some of them are denying that I need to go to another GP about this (even though my therapist said that I need to go).
My school is an extremely pressured school, especially for music as that is what it specializes in. It is a high-achieving school, although a fair few of us failed our science mid-year tests (yr9).
We do have fairly decent pastoral support in school, although one thing I'd love to happen is that I can openly speak to some teachers I was able to speak to before, as I feel as though now I have additional support I'm not their problem anymore, and that hurts. I could be so open about things, and now they just don't want to know anymore. Teachers have to understand recovery is a long process and not easy, and that to recover we need their full support all the way, not to just drop us just as we're starting to get better.
99% of teachers are actually evil
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Anonymous #5
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Absolutely not. I didn't even know our school has counselling until we were told after 2 people in our year tragically died from suicide. I then ended up seeing the counsellor because my mum rang in. I went for my eating and anxiety. She was horrible she didn't help me at all i told her about the extreme anxiety i got when reading out in class and she said she would email my teacher and tell her about it. Then my mum came in for a session with me and i asked the counsellor did she email my teacher and she laughed and said no you need to do that urself it will help ur confidence. I also made it clear i didn't like being called out of class because i hated walking back in and not knowing what to say but she called me out of class anyway. As for stress about exams and pressure put on students we didn't get any help. My school didn't care about mental health at all.
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mgcgian047
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(Original post by Look at Moii)
Do schools today have sufficient systems in place to help students who are struggling with their mental health?

With the amount of pressure placed on students to achieve 'good' grades, do you feel that enough support is offered to help cope with the stress that this can bring? Especially when compounded by the additional pressures and stressors that young people are now dealing with?

How have your experiences been with your mental health in school, and do you feel that you received adequate support? What system-wide changes, if any, do you think could be implemented to improve the mental health outcomes of students?
You honestly think teachers will help? I went to a school that was majority white, I often faced discrimination, teachers did nothing. At the end of the Year 11, I right hooked a guy in the solar plex, he didn't tell on me; he was left gasping on the floor. I knew if i continued it would expel me. Only did the teacher found out later- you know what he did?

Nothing.

It shows the incompetence, well, in my school; teachers did nothing to help with mental health, only when I started to act up, people started to be more increasingly more cooperative towards me. Teachers dont care

Edit: and by "increasingly cooperative" I mean not the aid of the teachers but the fact students openly told me that they were "scared" of me.
Last edited by mgcgian047; 3 weeks ago
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urlocalinmate
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(Original post by CosmicApathy1)
Nah my college still don’t give a ****. They’re exactly like my old school.
Yeah, they all assume we're mentally sound... Took 8 months to get some form of help.
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Look at Moii
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Thank you all for your honest and open contributions to this thread so far. Each of your experiences and insights are so valued, and I'm sorry to hear some of the difficulties faced in the accessibility and understanding of mental health support. Whilst I can't offer advice, please remember that our ad space in this forum offers direct links to confidential listening and support services :flower2:
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hxnnxh_13.11.06
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(Original post by Look at Moii)
Thank you all for your honest and open contributions to this thread so far. Each of your experiences and insights are so valued, and I'm sorry to hear some of the difficulties faced in the accessibility and understanding of mental health support. Whilst I can't offer advice, please remember that our ad space in this forum offers direct links to confidential listening and support services :flower2:
Thank you It's really annoying now as well because the only school support I have (SEN) is gone until September
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Final Fantasy
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Academia teaches you about mental health, sure. What academia doesn't do is tell you about the realistic no-sugar-coating mental health struggles you will go through when you leave the safety bubble of full-time academia. I was just explaining in another thread that I went through severe clinical depression after university, living alone hundreds of miles away from family and working full-time. Academia doesn't prepare you for real-world finances, taxes, stress, work, mental health, smoking, drugs and alcohol and many other things. Sadly, the world of academia is very much out of touch with how the real world operates.

(Original post by Look at Moii)
How have your experiences been with your mental health in school, and do you feel that you received adequate support? What system-wide changes, if any, do you think could be implemented to improve the mental health outcomes of students?
I note that you make no mention of preparing students for the harsh reality of everyday life. Sadly, you prove my point that they don't care what happens afterwards when you leave.
Last edited by Final Fantasy; 3 weeks ago
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Anonymous #6
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My school was useless about support. I guess it was like someone else said, because I was one of the highest achieving students and didn’t cause trouble that I got completely ignored.

What I found ridiculous was that I was so anxious and depressed during my A levels that I was harming myself and started bunking lessons but this was never raised as I still was getting A*s/As in my subjects and other people in my classes (classes of 5-9) were making their bunking more obvious. Mine wasn’t planned, it would get to the time of the lesson and I’d feel physically sick with dread and shaky and almost cry, I think maybe it was like a mild panic attack.

Just before the first lockdown after my year 13 mocks I finally had the courage to tell my Mum that I believed I was autistic and had even been confused with an autistic person on a group thing one summer. She said that she wasn’t sure but had been told the same thing a few years ago.

We ended up privately looking to get me mental health support and after one introduction session with the EP between herself, me, and my Mum she said at the end that I am very obviously autistic and she was amazed that I’d not been diagnosed before.

When we contacted the school about this as they needed to make in input on my official diagnosis they turned around and said that they noticed that I was struggling and acting differently to the other pupils. They admitted to noticing MANY red flags but didn’t say anything to myself or my parents and none of my teachers or head of sixth form or tutor tried to help.

I do wish that I’d spoken up sooner about my anxiety and depression so that I’d have gotten my ASD diagnosis sooner and would have gotten SEN and MH support in sixth form so I wouldn’t have been so depressed. It turns out I have a couple of learning disabilities and delays too that I’d learnt to work around and still get top grades, and now that I’ve started getting support at uni I wonder how I made it 19 years before that just struggling to get through each day without getting shouted at or beaten up because I didn’t understand maybe the tone of voice or facial expressions of someone.
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laurawatt
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Main problem for my school was that it informed parents if you wanted to access any of the support, so most people didn’t.
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