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Addressing the ‘elephant in the room’. The role of the primary school practitioner in supporting children’s mental well-being

Hamilton, Paula and Danby, Gillian (2016) Addressing the ‘elephant in the room’. The role of the primary school practitioner in supporting children’s mental well-being. Pastoral Care in Education, 24 (2). pp. 90-103. ISSN 0264-3944

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0264394...

Abstract

The enthusiasm regarding the school as a place for mental health promotion is powered by a large body of research demonstrating the links between mental health and well-being, academic success and future life opportunities. Despite on-going commitment to mental well-being in the U.K., statistics suggest mental health issues are increasing among children and young people. This small-scale qualitative-exploratory study, undertaken in two primary schools in North Wales, reports on how school practitioners perceive, promote and support the mental health and well-being of pupils. The paper highlights a reluctance by practitioners to address mental health topics due to fear of stigma and a desire to protect children. Issues linked to funding, skills and training, together with over-stretched specialist agencies, are making it difficult for school practitioners to support pupils. There is a pressing need for appropriate training opportunities in order for practitioners to be knowledgeable and to feel confident to discuss mental health with children and young people. Schools have a significant role in supporting children’s mental well-being and reducing the stigma attached to mental illness but only if this important topic is not regarded as an ‘elephant in the room’.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Healthy schools, mental health, mental health stigma, pupil well-being
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Stewart Milne
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 14:46
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 11:02
URI: http://glyndwr.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/15712

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