Wellbeing and mental health issues in our young people are up nearly 50% in the last year. Let that figure sink in for a moment. That is a 50% increase in young people who feel sad, anxious, depressed, suicidal. Mental health support systems that were under funded, under resourced and crumbling under the pressure pre-pandemic, are dealing with a 50% increase in young people needing them. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis. It stands to reason that something must change, and we believe that change could start in the classroom.
We know that mental health and attainment are intrinsically linked. For schools, investing in the mental health of students is not only vital to avoid catastrophic mental health difficulty, it is also a wise investment in their future academic success. But where do we start?
GLUU have teamed up with Shireland Collegiate Academy, Kooth and Performance Learning to create an MVP that provides a great starting place for schools, providing a whole school approach to mental wellbeing and assessment. This pilot is currently running in 4 Secondary schools in the West Midlands and will extend to Primary settings from September 2021.
The aim is to identify and categorise pupils into mental health cohorts based on severity and then put into place appropriate pathways of support for them. For those showing poor wellbeing, the service allows access to a trained online therapist within 40 minutes, eclipsing the current 18-week wait time for CAHMS. For those who have needs that are less severe, immediate self-guided interventions are provided. We know that by providing these tools, we give schools a great chance to produce the most resilient and capable learners, whose academic progress will be accelerated. We aim to prove that by allowing students to spend some time focusing on their personal academic needs and habits, they will be ready to become more confident and resilient learners.
For more updates on the outcome of this pilot, and to be kept updated on other similar work we are doing, join our GLUU community.