The news has emerged that head teachers main concerns are the mental health of their pupils. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33566813)
Now we can look at this in one of two ways. This can be considered good news, but so too it can be considered bad news.
Firstly, let’s look at it from a positive perspective. 20 years ago or more perhaps, headteachers would not have worried about their pupils mental health at all. This epitomises the outdated attitudes that were held back then towards mental health and how it was largely ignored. Nowadays, mental health is given the coverage and attention it deserves, and as such headteachers are now rightly so showing concern. It could be argued that this shows great progress.
However, this argument works the other way. If headteachers main concerns are their pupils mental health, it would suggest there is an endemic problem in schools. If headteachers are concerned, then this suggest that pupils are experiencing mental health problems in increasing and indeed worrying numbers. So should we worried that headteachers main concerns are now pupils mental health, when this has not been the case in the past?
Ultimately, it would be foolish to say children in the past never experienced mental health issues, but now they do and so the fact that headteachers are concerned proves that these issues are beginning to be addressed and schools can now give this area of their health the attention it deserves. However, I do believe that given the modern world in which we live, more and more children are experiencing mental health issues. So too, more and more necessary public services are being cut meaning children are not able to access the support that they need, a sentiment reiterated by the headteachers spoken to in the poll from which these conclusions were drawn. Therefore the government should heed this as a warning, to use this newfound public awareness and concern, to battle mental health problems in pupils.
It is imperative that mental health issues are addressed early and at their root, otherwise they can manifest themselves a far larger problems later in life.