Personally, this is an important subject for me. Teaching is my love. To build and help grow the confidence of young minds. It may sound cliché but I cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing or anything more rewarding than building the leaders of tomorrow. Often when I tell people this, they respond with, “aww that is so cute” or “you get great holidays” or “you must be out of the door at 3pm”. I could sit and write forever about each of these responses and the assumptions people make about teachers. Being a teacher to me means more. Before all else, their well-being and happiness should come first and foremost. Dealing with their emotions and finding ways to express themselves.. Their mental well-being. Teaching them the importance of kindness. To spark their love of learning

According to the website all pupils are to be taught about mental health and physical well-being. This will start from September 2020 to ensure schools prepare pupils for the ‘modern world’, I personally think this should have been something that was introduced much sooner. The education secretary Damien Hinds confirmed earlier this year that pupils of ALL ages will be taught the new subject in order to promote the positive link between physical and mental well-being. Just as important as physical health, mental health should be just as important if not more. Physical Education and swimming are part of our National Curriculum and so it sadden me to see this only being introduced now.

What do schools already do?

Most schools across the UK take part in Mental Health Awareness week and have PSHE lessons. This is an opportunity to raise more awareness and help flatten the stigma attached to ‘mental health’. Amidst rising rates of depression, anxiety and self-hard in children and young people there are more campaigns. PSHE & Mental Health lessons are not currently a part of the National Curriculum.

Why should we teach mental health lessons?

The new secondary content will build on everything learned at primary school, ensuring pupils can spot the signs of common mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression in themselves or others. Young people will learn how to discuss their emotions accurately and sensitively, about the impact of alcohol and drugs on physical and mental health, and how to access professional help.

Secondary pupils will also be taught online safety topics, including the serious risks of sharing private photos, the impact of viewing explicit or harmful content – including how to report it and get support – as well as how the internet can sometimes promote an unhealthy view of sex and relationships.

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said: The guidance published today is a welcome step forward in preparing children for adulthood, improving their wellbeing and keeping them safe and healthy. By providing compulsory health education with a strong focus on mental wellbeing, and guaranteeing relationships education in primary schools and relationships and sex education in secondary schools, the Government has responded to the needs and concerns of children, young people and parents.

This is an important milestone but there is further work ahead to ensure the new requirements fulfil their potential for helping children grow up healthier and happier.It is so important that children and teenagers are able to express their feelings and understand what mental health is and means. Mindfulness classes and lessons on mental health should have always been a part of our national curriculum.

What are your thoughts? Should Mental Health lessons have been introduced sooner?

Love to you all

Zo x


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