One mental health first-aider per school is not enough, warn experts

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Tackling pupil mental health is ‘a huge burden’ on teachers when they are the only mental-health first-aider in their school, writes Dave Speck in the TES.

The DfE’s pledge to provide every secondary school with a member of staff trained in mental health first aid is not enough, experts are warning. Teachers who are the only mental-health first-aider in their schools have a “huge burden” to bear and their own mental health becomes at risk, it is claimed.

Psychologists and educationalists attending a panel discussion yesterday organised by the All-Party-Parliamentary Group on Psychology at the House of Commons heard that mental health training should be provided to all teachers as part of initial teacher training.

Chair of the group, SNP MP Lisa Cameron, told the gathering: “One person [per school] being trained in mental health first aid is not enough. One person can’t do it all. “They need to actually be a teacher as well. It’s important that we take on board what people are saying today and pass it on to the minister for mental health.”

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