Mandatory Counselling in Schools

I think if all pupils and teachers were given sufficient mandatory mental health counselling, it would not only normalise mental health issues but also it would help get rid of the stigma that counselling unfortunately has. Trained counsellors would be able to help students cope with their stress so that later on, for example, if young people choose to pursue higher education (like college or university) then they will have the necessary tools to handle the stress and anything else that comes their way. Even if pupils didn’t experience mental health issues, it would still be good to vent to an unbiased person and get advice. Also, these trained counsellors would be able to spot the signs that a pupil may be experiencing mental health issues and give them the additional support that they need and tackle the problem before the pupil’s mental health deteriorates further. 

Why the contribution is important

At the moment, in schools (or at least at my old secondary school) you only really get mental health help if you are going through a crisis and even then you (or your parent/guardian) has to let the school know so that you can then be referred for counselling, which usually only covers general issues and may not suit everyone’s needs. I recently left secondary school and suffered from anxiety which after just under two years spiralled into panic disorder with agoraphobia, even though I had support in school and used services such as CAMHS and Lifelink (which didn’t help in the slightest). Reflecting back, I realised if these issues had been properly identified and tackled right at the start, then my mental health would not have deteriorated to the point that it has now. Although some of the support I had in school was helpful, it definitely needs improving. 

I also feel that my peers at school (even those without mental health issues) were pressured to get good grades and were not mangaging the stress well at all, most procrastinating until the last minute for homework and coursework, or completely having a meltdown during the dreaded exam season. If counselling was mandatory, I believe these issues could have been helped so not only does pupil’s mental health improve, but also that by doing so, they could achieve more. 

by geechloe on December 11, 2018 at 12:41PM

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