For many Asian countries, cases of poor adolescent mental health are amongst the highest anywhere in the world. This aligns with the figure that 90% of teachers have seen an increase in the number of students showing low-mood, anxiety, stress and depression. This may not come as a shock to many given the rise in social media, tougher exams and negativity felt by current affairs, are all drivers of the increase in mental health disorders.
Educational institutions are faced with a crisis as, while staff are doing all they can to support their vulnerable learners, the lack of additional funding and services means that the remit of schools is limited. Counselling services are overstretched and waiting lists for outside services grow longer each day. Recent figures from HSJ show that in 2018, of the 11,482 children that needed treatment in 2018 over 50% had to wait more than 18 weeks. By rebalancing your curriculum to incorporate more wellbeing and pastoral initiatives, you are further increasing the chances of academic success and should therefore be a staple in an educational establishment.
It is not just students who benefit from good wellbeing structures but also teachers and lecturers as well. In a hyper-competitive environment in which students’ academic success is paramount and parents are more demanding, teacher wellbeing is seen as a nicety but not always essential. With a burgeoning recruitment crisis and increases in workload, staff feel demotivated and overstressed leading more to leave, exacerbating problems further. Up to one in five teachers plan on leaving the profession in the next two years. Creating an establishment-wide wellbeing culture will ensure a working and learning environment that encourages students and staff to flourish and channel a healthy and positive mindset.
Wellbeing played a central role at Bett 2020, as one of six key themes. By coming to Bett visitors were able to gain new knowledge and practical strategies to create a fully encompassing wellbeing system which leaves no one vulnerable. Build your students resilience and encourage them to talk openly and honestly about their mental health, while easing staff workload and making sure they are happy in their role.