As the window to respond to Welsh Government’s Consultation Embedding a whole-school approach to mental health and well-being closes, ColegauCymru urges the government to rise to the challenge of ensuring that good mental health provision is embedded firmly across all schools and colleges.
Whilst it is noted that the guidance is designed for schools, we urge greater consideration to be given to the issues in the further education (FE) sector. Half of all mental health problems appear before the age of 14, with one in four enduring mental health conditions by the age of 24*. This means that whilst mental health support is key in a school setting, it is also vital that appropriate provision is carried through to all post-16 settings, including FE, youth services and HE.
ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategy Group Chair Simon Pirotte said,
“Further Education Institutions are not just providers of education but are anchor institutions in their communities. They play a pivotal role in in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of learners of all ages.”
As a direct result of the Covid19 pandemic, we are now having to adapt to a “new normal”. We are already seeing an increase in the number of young people learning from home or having to engage in blended learning. As such, there will be new and specific areas of mental health provision required to tackle issues such as digital exclusion or social anxiety.
ColegauCymru continues to champion mental health provision for young people across Wales and is committed to working with government colleagues and partners from across the education sector to ensure that the most appropriate provision and support is made available.
Welsh Government Consultation
Embedding a whole-school approach to mental health and well-being
8 July 2020
* Young Minds Impact Report 2018 - 2019