for better mental health

Educating Mental Health: an inquiry into mental health in schools 

Young people with a mental health problem are being left behind by our education system.  We want to change that.

Fill in our survey

Through our inquiry we want to hear from young people, families and teachers in England about your experiences of mental health at secondary schools. Together we’ll campaign for a better and fairer system, in which everyone can thrive.

With schools closed to most pupils because of Covid-19, young people have missed out on months of education as well as vital support to manage their mental health.  

We’re still a long way from understanding the full effect of the pandemic, but we know that young people have been amongst those most impacted. Two-thirds of young people responding to Mind’s survey told us that their mental health deteriorated during the lockdown, and nearly half faced difficulty in accessing support.

Supporting children and young people’s mental health is one of the 5 tests Mind has set the UK government in order to protect the nations mental health as we recover from the pandemic. 

“The isolation from not only family and friends but from my pastoral manager at school has taken a toll. I was on the list for counciling  [sic] and now I have no one to talk to.”

– Young person in response to our survey on the impact of coronavirus 

A fairer system

Before coronavirus, young people with a mental health problem were already being left behind by our education system.  

  • Nearly 1 in 5 young people experiencing a mental health problem have dropped out of education due to stigma.
  • 1 in 10 boys with a mental health problem have been excluded. 
  • Children and young people with a mental health problem are also less likely to achieve as well as their peers at GCSE.  

We are concerned that these inequality gaps will only be made worse by the pandemic.  And with many young people possibly experiencing mental health problems for the first time, there has never been a more important time to prioritise mental health and wellbeing in schools. 

“The cancellation of GCSEs has caused me to take a couple of steps backwards in me trying to get better”

- Mind survey respondent 

As schools reopen their doors and rebuild from coronavirus, now is the time to look at how we get this right. In 2017, the Government promised to transform children and young people’s mental health. It is time to finish the job. 

“Secondary school is meant to be a time to learn and grow as a person and I feel that those with mental health problems are not given that opportunity”

- Young person in response to the inquiry 

Our inquiry 

Mind have launched an inquiry into young people’s experiences of mental health in secondary schools in England. Between September 2020 and March 2021 we’ll listen to young people and their experiences, so we can understand what needs to change. We also want to hear from families and teachers in England, and learn from what has been working.  

“I really believe that the experiences of young people who suffer with mental health within the education system deserve to be heard and not shut out.” 

- Young person in response to the inquiry 

How can I help?

Tell us about your experiences of mental health and secondary school by responding to our survey. If you are aged 13 to 25 years old please share your experiences, or if you’re a parent or guardian, you can fill in the survey about your child’s experiences.

During the inquiry there will be other ways you can get involved, including participating in interviews and campaign actions. 

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates or email [email protected] for further information. 

If you’re a young person between the ages of 11 and 24 you can sign up to join our Youth Voice Network. We’ll keep you up to date with a range of ways to get involved in our work. 

For young people

If you are a young person looking for information about mental health and wellbeing, you can read more here: 

Information for children and young people

Coronavirus Hub

For parents and carers

If you’re a parent or caregiver wanting to find out more, further information can be found here:

Information for parents and caregivers

For teachers

If you are a teacher we have resources available to help you support others as well as yourself: 

Information for teachers

Other ways to get involved

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