To: Education Authority
Monitor Mental Health Provision in Schools
We are a youth led mental health campaign, established by Quaker Service, called #MyStoryYourStory made up of a group of young people from both north and west Belfast. We are calling on the Education Authority and its inspectors to monitor what secondary schools are doing to address mental health, so that it can be placed at the heart of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
Through our work in schools we found that mental health is addressed differently in each school with some schools using pastoral care to engage mental health discussion, while others barely touch base with the topic.
Why is this important?
If mental health promotion was given a more central and compulsory role in the curriculum the wellbeing of the young people would improve.
The communities we work in are some of the most deprived areas in the UK. The suicide rate is around 70% higher in deprived areas than non-deprived areas, and rates of pupils needing tuition due to anxiety and mental health continues to be high. We need schools and the Education Authority to monitor how our schools are addressing mental health.