Pupils with mental health problems face 'stigma and discrimination'

21st January 2016 at 10:24
Mental health stigma in schools

Young people may have to endure high levels of stigma and discrimination in schools, a major review of mental health services in Scotland finds.

School staff and pupils lack an understanding of how to help those who are suffering from mental health problems, the report by the Mental Health Foundation suggests.

One young person told researchers: “People look at you like a freak in school when you are really down, you feel embarrassed to phone or reach out for help.”

Some people surveyed felt that the problem was so ingrained in society and public services that they were not hopeful of any significant change.

One common suggestion for reducing stigma and discrimination, however, was for health services to work closely with schools.

The report adds: "Tackling stigma and discrimination remains an overriding priority for service users…A lack of understanding and/or ability of school staff and other young people to appropriately support young people with mental health conditions in schools was also raised as a stigma-related concern."

Research shows that half of all diagnosable mental health conditions start by the age of 14, and the Scottish Youth Parliament recently launched the Speak Your Mind campaign to highlight how they can blight young lives.

Last week, first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that an extra £54 million would be spent on mental health services over the next four years, with a focus on young people.

What are your opinions on the latest major review of mental health services in Scotland? Have your say on TES Community.

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook


Related Content

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today