Why is this an issue?
We know that there is a significant issue with poor mental health amongst children in the city and their parents. Data for Stoke-on-Trent shows that:
- there are an estimated 3,700 children aged 5 to 16 living with a mental health issue.
- mental health conditions are found in almost 1 in 5 families with dependent children.
- the prevalence of in-patient admission rates for mental health disorders (0 to 17 year olds) has been increasing year on year since 2012.
The recent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment report highlights the importance of improving outcomes for children and young people with poor mental health. Those living with mental health conditions are less likely to reach their full academic potential; more likely to drop out of education, employment or training; and more likely to become known to the youth justice system.
What will we do?
- identify effective, evidence based practice, offering targeted interventions to those schools where exclusions and unauthorised absences are highest, drawing together the work of our EEF Research School, the EEF toolkit and local efforts
- introduce ways to promote wellbeing and resilience of learners in the classroom, through programmes such as the Paws b curriculum from the Mindfulness in Schools Project, to teach children the skills of self-regulation and behaviour management
- offer mental health first aid training to all secondary schools in Stoke-on-Trent and, depending on impact, make this available to primary schools
- implement the Mental Health Service and Schools Link programme in up to 60 primary and secondary schools, colleges and alternative education settings, with engagement from key CAMHS providers, NHS and the third sector
- learn from pilot work undertaken by Stoke Association of School College and Academy Leaders (SASCAL) through 4 key projects, aimed at building pupil resilience and good mental health.