World Mental Health Day 2022 – Making Mental Health a Global Priority

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions. Estimates put the rise in both anxiety and depressive disorders at more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.

That’s why the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Make Mental Health a Global Priority’. It’s up to all of us to help raise awareness about the impact the pandemic has had on mental health across the globe and the need to increase funding for mental healthcare services.

One way to help is to start at the source and educate children in school about mental wellbeing. This idea is being used across the globe currently with the UK adding a ‘Teaching about mental wellbeing’ teacher training model to the curriculum. We have developed this mental wellbeing teacher training module to help subject leads and teachers understand what they should teach, as well as improving their confidence in delivering mental wellbeing as part of the new curriculum. This new curriculum became statutory in the UK in September 2020.

In America, they have a slightly more involved approach. They may hire school-based therapists or social workers, they can provide access to prevention programming, early identification of mental health challenges, and treatment options. They can also partner with community mental health organisations and agencies to develop an integrated, comprehensive program of support and services.

Throughout Europe, changes are being discussed and a framework on how well-being and mental health in schools may be promoted through a systemic, whole-school approach is being proposed. A whole-school approach mobilises the various resources of the whole school community, including the active engagement and voices of students, staff, parents and professionals, towards a collaborative effort to promote the mental health and well-being of all members of the community.

What can you do?

One thing you can do to help this process is to educate yourself and others and learn how you can pass on this knowledge to the younger generation. At Mental Health Learning, we can provide your school staff with the training they need to spot signs of distress and support pupils with their mental health in your school. You can find out more here.

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