The mental health storm gathering on education’s shore

Is the mental wellbeing of children getting worse? Not hugely, if you go by the headlines that followed last week’s major NHS Digital survey on the issue. But delve deeper and things start to look a lot more desperate for young people. Jon Severs introduces Tamsin Ford, an academic from the project, who sets out just who is most at risk – and how teachers are having to hold back the tide

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Last week, NHS Digital released the results of a major survey of adolescent mental health. The findings suggest that one in eight five- to 19-year-olds in England has a clinically impairing mental health condition, while one in 20 meets diagnostic criteria for two or more clinically impairing mental health conditions. This means that, on average, three pupils in a class of 24 will be struggling with poor mental health.

Previous research shows that, for many children, such difficulties persist, and that half of those meeting diagnostic criteria will also meet diagnostic criteria for the same ...

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