‘Happiness Lessons’ to be Introduced into UK Schools

In great news for British students and their families, the UK Department of Education will be investing over 2 million dollars in mental health support over the next few years.

This comes as a response to what has been called a ‘youth mental health epidemic’…

With around 10 per cent of UK students suffering from a diagnosable mental health condition.

Many students suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression directly as a result of the extreme academic pressures they face in schooling.

So it’s a proactive and thoroughly appropriate response to tackle these issues within the school framework.

As part of the new programs, eight-year-old students will attend ‘happiness lessons’ during the school day.

Mindfulness will play a pivotal role, and will encourage young students to think of ‘disturbing’ thoughts as busses that will come and go. 

Older students will also be given ‘mental health training’, focussing on combatting anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Trained professionals will hold classes for 13 to 15 year old students, educating them in different types of mental illnesses, and how to combat them.

And general classes on mental wellbeing will be taken by students from year 4 to year 8.

Although there’s no word on such classes being introduced in Australian schools as yet, these programs attest to the seriousness of mental health issues in young people…

And the far-reaching consequences they can have in the short term, and later down the track. 

In the short term, mental health challenges (ironically often caused by school pressures) can hinder a student’s ability to perform academically.

While it also can negatively impact their emotional and mental development.

Early years consultant Laura Henry explains:

‘Over the last decade there has been a massive push to academia, results and school league tables and children’s personal social development has been left behind.’ 

‘A holistic approach is needed and children should be able to self-regulate their own behaviour.’

This is precisely what our psychologists teach their clients — life skills — rather than quick-fixes, that enable productive and effective coping mechanisms for dealing with mental and emotional challenges whenever they occur. 

In the long term, if left untreated, these issues can self-perpetuate and worsen, and have significant implications on the whole community as well as the individual.

That’s why such a huge sum of money is being invested in mental health support.

Henry estimated that this funding could save the government billions in the long term, as unaddressed mental issues can lead to housing and social care costs.

These programs attest to the importance of early intervention in dealing with youth mental health issues. 

We can only hope that Australia will follow suit and continue to invest resources into the mental wellbeing of our students within the school framework.

But for now, if you believe your child may need some professional support, our trained psychologists can provide the guidance and tools they need to thrive in school.

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