STUDENTS are being encouraged to open up about their mental health problems at school.
At an event at Portsmouth Guildhall yesterday, students from across the city met with Future In Mind and Portsmouth Education Partnership to discuss how to make mental health less of a taboo subject in schools.
The event saw the students speak to other young people about the mental health problems they face at school, as well as how to open up and tackle them.
Megan Bish, 19, from Southsea, said: ‘Days like this are incredibly important because it is something that not dealt with appropriately in schools at the moment.
‘If schools become more aware of the issues, then it makes it easier for students to open up about their problems.
‘Today has been really useful in that regard – I have had people ask me if I can do talks in their schools about mental health.
‘The more we can spread the message, the better equipped schools will be to tackle it.’
Amy Harris, 15, from Portsmouth, added: ‘The way mental health is handled in schools at the moment just isn’t good enough.
‘We had no lessons on it in school, but it is such a big problem at the same time.
‘A lot of teachers don’t quite understand the problems people face because they are all different.’
Charlie Brunnen, 20, from Portsmouth, said: ‘Young people often suffer in silence when it comes to mental health.
‘It is interesting – schools will rush to take action on physical injuries but are slow on mental health.
‘When I was at school the teachers only took action when my weight suddenly dropped.
‘By the time it is noticed things have already escalated into a crisis – that is what today was about, to show pupils and teachers that there are ways to spot mental health problems and how to deal with them appropriately.
‘To have that support around you is so important because it makes it easier for people to open up about it.’
Feedback from students at the event will be taken into account ahead of a response to the government’s green paper, Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision.
The consultation for the government’s green paper will end on Friday, March 2.