The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as not simply the absence of disorder but ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.
- Currently, one in ten children in the UK have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder before the age of 14 and incidents of self-harming amongst children as young as 8 years old are increasing year on year.
- Additionally, the average length of service for primary school teachers is just five years, and suicide rates amongst these teachers are more than two times higher than the national average.
Mental health problems in children can have wide-ranging effects, including impacts on educational attainment and social relationships, as well as affecting physical health and life chances. However, in order to build resilience in children, teachers and childcare professionals must have the personal and professional resources to be resilient themselves.
“A traumatised workforce is trying to work with a traumatised population,
and this is a worrying cocktail.”
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