By Valerie Bailey
MEd BA(Hons) PGCE PGCertSocSci
Here at TBGS, we recognise that if we are to continue to promote mental health across the school then parental engagement and collaboration will be crucial.
There is, thus, a wide acceptance that good practice in the school promotion of children’s mental health requires teamwork with parents/carers with the students themselves and other pertinent stakeholders – such as external agencies, (Askell-Williams, 2015)[i].
The ‘Well-Being Forum’ launched at TBGS in January 2017 was a fantastic opportunity to ask parents for their opinions, concerns and ideas and here are results of what parents thought of their own children’s mental health status, resilience, amount of pressure they are under. We welcome the feedback which will form part of our future planning and provision pathways in 2017-18.
[i] Askell-Williams, H. (n.d.) Transforming the future of learning with educational research.
It is worth noting that 22% felt their child’s mental health was only a little healthy of not healthy.
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) publishes the following facts:
20% of adolescents would experience a mental health problem in any given year.
50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.[i]
When looking at root causes for ailing mental health in some of the youth in today’s society, the increase of life’s pressures is often at the forefront of a compounded list of justifications.
For instance, a study from the DfE (2014) compared the experiences and attitudes of 14-year-olds in 2014 with those in 2005 and found an increase in “psychological distress”. Teenagers in 2014, unlike those in 2005, faced the almost constant pressure of social media and the use of smartphones with video cameras.[i]
Hence TBGS parents and Well-Being Forum visitors, in our survey, recognised this by 67% of responses quoting “a lot” and “quite a bit”:
The amount of resilience parents think their children possess is rather high:
As a definition, resilience concerns the ability to ‘bounce back’; it involves doing well against
the odds, coping, and recovering. As a result, 77% of parents believe their children present as “rather” or “very” resilient. This is a marked result, that actually contradicts recent studies undertaken by Action For Children notably[i]:
“More recently attention has been focused on how we can develop knowledge in this area to devise interventions that reflect the promotion of resilience as a means of achieving positive outcomes for children.”
Building resilience is part of a whole school development priority next year, with Growth Mind Set principles https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/ and Mindfulness http://www.mindfuleducation.org/ being integrated across the curriculum.
Finally, here are the topics/actions parents felt had been helpful and would be worth developing when promoting good mental and resilience for their children at school:
Askell-Williams, H. (n.d.) Transforming the future of learning with educational research.