place2be wellbeing in school awards
We know that the need is great. During their first eleven years, one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty. Children who are distracted and unable to deal with their worries will not be able to engage with their learning and reach their full potential... My hope for the future is that all schools will have the resources to provide excellent mental health support for all their pupils, that all teachers will be empowered by training to understand and support children's mental health, and that every child will have the opportunity to grow up with prospects not problems.
Schools can make a huge difference to young people's lives, and could be crucial to ensuring good mental health and wellbeing. They just need the help to do so.
I have worked closely with Place2Be - a major charity that provides counselling in schools - and I have been inspired and moved by individual stories charting the transformational change and meaningful support that counselling can offer to children. I have understood more clearly what kinds of skills and interventions are helpful and appropriate.
To report on the crisis in children's mental health, as I have done repeatedly on ITV News, is one thing. To have it crash headlong into my family with devastating consequences was something else altogether. For two or three years we were in despair as someone we love descended alarmingly quickly into the bleak, unremittingly dark world of depression and anxiety.