School mental health referrals rise in the north of England

Ella Lane is a Grade 10 student at Claremont Secondary School

In a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England, the NSPCC found schools seeking professional help for pupils from NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) made 123,713 referrals since 2014/15.

Childline, which is run by the NSPCC, has reported a 26 per cent increase in the number of counselling sessions with children about mental health issues over the past four years.

The CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work report also revealed that mental ill-health was now the main cause of long-term absence in more than a fifth of United Kingdom organisations (22 per cent) and that stress-related absence had increased over the a year ago in more than a third (37 per cent) of businesses.

In 2016, 307 Lincolnshire pupils were referred to the specialist service.

If we want to break the silence around mental health struggles, it would begin with managers communicating that it is okay to talk about it.

She said the county's CAMHS service did deliver a good service but that waiting lists were too long and by the time children were seen many were at 'crisis point'.

'At the universal level, we need Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) at all primary and secondary schools, so that children can self-manage better. "It is vital the government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don't have access to support elsewhere".

In October the CAMHS and the Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service will host a Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing conference in Kettering which will look at a range of issues affecting pupils such as loneliness at primary school, anxiety, self harm, bereavement and supporting children who are questioning their gender.

The NSPCC said some young people had told Childline that they only received specialist support when they reached crisis point, and have even asked Childline counsellors to act on their behalf to get help quicker.

"Our counsellors are literally saving lives, and it concerns us that we can not help every child who desperately needs us". That is why are allocating £300 million, over and above the additional £1.4bn being invested in specialist services, to provide more support linked to schools.

Spire FM is joining hundreds of BBC and commercial radio stations around the United Kingdom to broadcast a one-minute message about mental health.

"The statistics suggest that stress looms large for the British workforce, which - as a country of employers - is something we need to address", said Oliver Shaw, chief executive at Cascade. It raises awareness of all aspects of mental health, and this year's particular focus is stress.

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