Petition to make mental health education compulsory in schools welcomed by Sunderland based organisation

A petition launched to make mental health education compulsory in schools is being welcomed by Sunderland’s Mental Health Matters.

The petition launched in January is hoping to make mental health education compulsory in primary and secondary schools across the UK. The petition which currently has in excess of 40,000 signatures needs to reach 100,000 to force a parliamentary debate on the subject.

Youngminds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, states that among teenagers, rates of anxiety and depression have increased by 70% in the past 25 years and a staggering 55% of children who suffer bullying as children develop depression in adulthood, with other mental illnesses such as eating disorders and self harm steadily on the rise too.

A spokesperson for Mental Health Matters, who’s vision includes “providing support to individuals to live meaningful and valued lives within their communities” stated: “We welcome the move to make mental health education compulsory in schools. Young people need to learn about resilience and well-being to prepare them for later life as teenagers and then adulthood.

“It will help to demystify and challenge the stigma that comes with mental health, mainly because of a lack of understanding”.

They also added: “This movement can only be a positive and proactive approach to mental health. Education in this area will empower young people to step forward to get the help they need, also helping to prevent problems by addressing them earlier and stop them continuing later in life”

Deborah Heron, a Newcastle based counsellor, commented “Well considered mental health education could help young people understand mental health issues and equip them with skills and strategies to cope with their own issues and understand others who experience them.  As a counsellor I think it could help young people access counselling earlier and benefit from the experience”.

The Department of Education have responded to the petition saying “it is a priority for the Department. We want to tackle the burning injustice of mental health problems”.

To sign the petition you can go to

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