ASCL comment on latest findings from Covid Social Mobility study | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Margaret Mulholland responded to findings from the Covid Social Mobility study that almost half of young people are experiencing mental health problems,

Margaret Mulholland, SEND and Inclusion Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “These worrying findings highlight the severity of the mental health crisis among children and young people. A 96% increase in referrals for mental health support must be taken seriously.

“This evidence reflects what we are hearing from school leaders. The overwhelming demands for emotional and social support for young people as a result of the pandemic are an enormous pressure on schools, and the consequent impact on motivation to study is a real barrier to academic success. Schools and colleges are increasingly being called upon to provide mental health support for which they are unlikely to have adequate expertise or experience. Teachers do what they can to help, but there needs to be clear clinical thresholds that determine when it is appropriate for schools to provide mental health support to pupils, and when cases need to be referred to other agencies.

“Unfortunately, young people often struggle to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) due to long waiting times. We echo calls for improved funding for mental health services as there is a gap in provision that must be plugged to avoid this crisis getting even worse. We need substantial government investment to address the recovery process from the pandemic, focused on mental health, as we are very concerned about the wellbeing of children and young people.”

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