New school packs for Youth Mental Health Day now available for download.
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 11, 2023
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Youth Mental Health Day, set for September 7th, 2021, is an important event that aims to empower young people and those who support them to understand and prioritize their mental well-being. To commemorate this day, the Mental Health Foundation has partnered with their Peer Education Project (PEP) team to develop new, free resources for both students and teachers.
Supporting Mental Health Education in Schools
The Peer Education Project (PEP) is a program implemented in secondary schools that equips older students with the necessary skills to educate younger pupils on mental health. The PEP curriculum focuses on teaching coping mechanisms and strategies to protect and enhance mental well-being. It also emphasizes the importance of seeking help when needed, both for oneself and others.
Introducing the New Material
The latest material released by the Mental Health Foundation and Reflect and Refocus centers around three key areas: body image, kindness, and sleep management. These topics have a significant impact on young people’s overall well-being. Additionally, the Foundation has developed a guide specifically for school staff on the importance of rest and provided guidance on transitioning back to school.
A Passionate Approach to Mental Health
Ruth Simmonds, the PEP Project Manager at the Mental Health Foundation, expressed the organization’s commitment to equipping children, young people, and those around them with the necessary skills and knowledge to protect and prioritize mental health. As the new academic year begins and schools reopen, the Mental Health Foundation aims to shine a spotlight on students’ mental health and the vital role of educators in providing support.
Navigating the Challenges of the Pandemic
The past year has been exceptionally challenging for children and young people, with the pandemic affecting various aspects of their personal, educational, and social lives. This disruption has been especially significant for those going through critical life transitions, such as moving from primary to secondary school or entering university and the workforce.
Schools play a crucial role in addressing mental health issues, making the newly released material invaluable for fostering awareness and providing support. The online platform offered by the PEP project conveniently provides all the necessary resources to integrate the program into the school curriculum. Interested parties can register at pep.mentalhealth.org.uk.
Insights from Pandemic Research
Extensive research conducted during the pandemic indicates that children and young people have experienced a decline in good mental health and well-being. Disturbingly, the number of diagnosed mental health conditions has risen from 1 in 8 to 1 in 6 individuals. Moreover, at least one-third of young people report increased mental health issues.
According to a Mental Health Foundation study conducted among 13- to 19-year-olds in the UK, 66% feel lonely some or most of the time. Furthermore, 45% believe that their future in the UK will be negatively impacted by the pandemic. Older teenagers and young adults have been particularly affected, with their education, social lives, and careers significantly disrupted by lockdown restrictions.
Friendships are a crucial aspect of young people’s lives, and the inability to socialize has had a severe impact on their mental health. Over the past year, young people have reported feeling lonely, anxious, hopeless, and even suicidal at higher rates compared to older adults. A sense of security regarding education, training, employment, as well as access to basic needs like food, housing, and financial stability, are vital in supporting their recovery.
Notes to Editors
- All figures mentioned are based on a YouGov Plc survey conducted online among 2,349 teenagers aged 13 to 19 in Great Britain between May 24th and June 15th, 2021.
-  NHS Digital (2020). Mental Health of Children and Young People in England. NHS.
-  Barnardo’s. (2020). Coping with Grief, Bereavement, and Loss. Barnardo’s.
The Mental Health Foundation’s mission is to identify and address the root causes of mental health problems, ultimately striving for a world where good mental health is accessible to all. To find out more about their work, visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk.
For further information, please contact the Mental Health Foundation press office at [email protected]