A new scheme to provide mental health training to teachers in Poole’s schools could “save lives”.
Mental health expert Dr Andrew Mayers exclusively told Buzz News the training is “absolutely vital” for young people and should be put into practice nationwide.
Poole teachers are being trained in mental health first aid training, which will help them to identify young people at risk of mental health conditions.
Dr Mayers, who is a Patron for mental health charities Dorset Mind and the Bournemouth Samaritans, said: “Teaching children and young people about mental health at an early age is a really good thing to do. It encourages that conversation to start and not be hidden away.”
Dr Mayers says mental health conditions develop during adolescents and the training will help teachers to realise when a student is struggling.
He said: “The earlier we can intervene with these things, the less likely that they are going to encounter a lifetime of therapy and treatments. It may well be that things we can do quickly can build resilience in young people.
“Teachers can be faced with problems when they end up dealing with people with a range of emotional and thought difficulties. It’s hugely important they have the skill-set to deal with all of this.”
Funding from Public Health Dorset, the Borough’s Children, Young People and Learning Team has launched the scheme which aims to build strong emotional well-being in Poole’s children and young people.
Over 50 education staff have taken part in the training so far. The training focuses on four separate themes including anxiety and depression, suicide and psychosis and self harm and eating disorders. In the two day course, bullying, cyber bullying, substance misuse and good parenting are also covered.
This announcement of the training follows Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on mental health two weeks ago, where she pledged new initiatives for schools to provide mental health support would be brought in.