A new school year starts when the school bell rings and kids start laughing. But the new term brings more than just academic hurdles. For many students, it can also be hard on their mental health.

As parents, teachers, and caretakers, it is very important for us to have the tools to understand, identify, and help young people’s mental health. This is where Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) comes in!

The Worrying State of Mental Health in Young People

Mental health issues in children and teens are a worldwide problem, and the UK is no different. The seriousness of the problem is shown by data from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and a number of mental health charities.

1. Prevalence: According to the NHS’s Mental Health of Children and Young People in England study from 2017, 12.8% of young people between the ages of 5 and 19 had at least one mental disorder when they were evaluated in 2017.

2. Starts young: Mental health issues in adults often start when they are younger. Almost half of all people with mental health issues were first told they had them when they were kids. Still, less than half of them got the right help at the right time.

3. Effects on School: Children with mental health issues may miss school, according to reports. On average, they miss about 10 days of school per year. This hurts their academic growth and mental health.

4. COVID-19 Effect: Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of people who need mental health services. A UK-based mental health organisation called YoungMinds said that the pandemic has made mental health issues worse for people who already had them and given people who didn’t have them before new ones.

Why do MHFA courses for youth?

Mental Health First Aid teaches people how to help someone who is starting to have a mental health issue or is in the middle of a mental health crisis. Just like CPR training helps a non-medical person help someone who has had a heart attack, MHFA training helps a person help someone who may be having a mental health issue or going through a crisis.

For educators: A school is a small version of the whole world. As teachers, you have responsibilities that go beyond passing on academic information. Seeing early signs of mental distress, knowing how to talk to a student who is having trouble, and knowing how to lead them to the right tools can change a student’s life.

Note to parents: It can be hard to figure out all the different parts of a teenager’s mental health. MHFA classes are very helpful because they teach parents how to tell the difference between normal teen behaviour and possible warning signs. This encourages open communication and builds trust.

The Good Things About Going Back to School

Starting a new school year can be both fun and hard. Some kids and teens find it hard to handle their new schedules, school stresses, and relationships with their peers. Being taught in MHFA from the start:

1. Early Intervention: This helps people spot problems before they get worse.

2. Building trust: Shows concern for the well-being of students and helps create a supportive atmosphere.

3. Resource Linkage: Makes sure that young people get the help they need when they need it.

There are many things going on with young people’s mental health today. But we can make a safety net for them if we have the right tools and know-how. When we spend time on Youth MHFA classes, we don’t just get another certification. We’re doing our part to make the next generation mentally strong.

At the beginning of a new school year, it’s not enough to buy new supplies or set academic goals. We also need to make sure that our young people have the emotional and mental help they need. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Let’s make sure our village is ready, informed, and taking action.

Are you ready to change things? Sign up for a Youth MHFA course.