Supporting students’ mental health in schools: what do teachers want and need?
Shelemy L., Harvey K., Waite P.
© 2019, © 2019 SEBDA. There is a growing expectation in the UK for teachers to have an understanding of common mental health problems in young people. This study aims to identify the training needs of secondary school teachers to enable them to adequately support and educate their students around mental health. Nine focus groups, each with between four to eight participants, were conducted with secondary school teachers in the UK. Discussions were centred on the needs and wants of teachers in terms of mental health training, provision and advice. Participants were also shown three online resources as an example of existing training. Thematic analysis was used to structure the data. Participants wanted training on how to identify and provide early support for students who are struggling, without taking on the perceived role of a therapist. Participants also emphasised the strong need for practical, interactive and expert-led training that provides resources that can be adapted to individual settings. Implications and recommendations are discussed.