Providing emotionaland therapeutic support in Schools

In March 2015, the Government’s Department for Education, published ‘Mental Health and Behaviour in schools. It stated that:

“Certain individuals and groups are more at risk of developing mental health problems than others.
These risks can relate to the child themselves, to their family, or to their community or life events.”

and include:

Communication difficulties, low self-esteem, academic failure, difficult temperament, domestic violence, family breakdown (including those in care proceedings, in care or adopted), inconsistent or unclear discipline, hostile or rejection relationships, abuse, death and loss (including loss of friendship),bullying, breakdown in or lack of positive friendships, deviant peer influences, peer pressure, poor pupil to teacher relationships, homelessness, and overwhelming life events.

Results from a national cohort study entitled ‘Very early predictors of conduct problems and crime,’ (Murray,J, 2010) demonstrate through analysis of data for 16,000 children that:

  • Boys with 5 or more risk factors were almost 11 times more likely to develop conduct disorder under the age of 10 than boys with no risk factors.
  • Girls of a similar age with 5 or more risk factors were 19 times more likely to develop the disorder than those with no risk factors.
  • Also in March 2015, a government task force lead by the Department for Health and NHS England reported:
  • 1 out of 10, 5-16 years old, has a mental health disorder
  • About 500,000 children and young people say they are unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives.
  • 75% of adult mental health problems are present before the age of 18.

The problem is, many children lack an arena in which to express the powerful and profound feelings intrinsic to any human existence. This can either result in children remaining silent and bottling up strong feelings (proven to be psychologically and physically damaging) or ‘acting out’ their feelings in ways which can be highly destructive to self or others.

The need for prevention, early intervention and resolution has never been greater