The Guardian reports that bullying, problems at home or even the election Donald Trump – the world can be a stressful place for children. Fortunately, counselling services in schools are helping young people cope with such issues and more serious conditions.
It could easily be a child’s bedroom. In the centre is a large mat, while a selection of dolls and soft toys line the walls. It is hard to believe that this nurture point in Plaistow, east London, aimed at helping children deal with their emotional problems, was once a school staff room.
Youngsters aged five to 11 can drop in three days a week and speak to a trained counsellor from the charity Place2Be.
But as well as worries over friendships, bullying or problems at home, headteacher Paul Harris reveals that a growing number of children are suffering from anxiety as a result of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
Fortunately, pupils at Curwen primary and its sister school, Kensington primary in Manor Park, can speak to a counsellor before their problems become overwhelming.
Working with 282 primaries and 50 secondaries, the charity provides early intervention support in schools to children who are troubled and unhappy.
The charity is not the only one working with schools. The Art Room charity supports five- to 16-year-olds who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties in Oxfordshire, London and Edinburgh by supporting 500 children a week.
Harris, says the proposed school funding cuts mean losing the service of 17 teaching staff: “I believe support needs to start young in primary schools to build resilience before children go on to secondary.
“Cash needs to be earmarked for this from health budgets, otherwise we will lose this vital service.”
Celine Bickerdike, 19, is an apprentice in Leeds and has secured a university place to study history. She has had anxiety and depression since aged 12. But it was five years before she sought professional help.
“My first experience of being judged because of having a mental health problem was when some girls took my antidepressants from my bag and started reading out the side-effects in front of everyone. They humiliated me. How can people be so cruel?
“There was some school mental health support, but teachers had to believe you had a problem before you could access it.”
“People’s conditions should be believed as soon as they develop so that it’s easier to prevent them worsening like mine did.”
The budgets cuts are threatening existing in-school care. Should mental health funding be totally protected from the cuts? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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