We all know that unhappy, stressed children don’t learn. Sometimes, there is so much noise in their lives, family pressures, expectations, social media, friends and peer groups. Many young people feel completely overwhelmed.
They are suffering from exam stress, pressure from parents and an overwhelming workload. Some of them struggling daily with lack of confidence, fear of failure, self esteem issues, communication problems and feelings of anger, fear, hopelessness, lack of control over their own lives, injustice, jealousy, friendships and bullying.
pupils has an identifiable mental health disorder (NHS 2019)
As a society we have a responsibility to equip children with the natural resilience to deal with all these challenges. And it’s not just the kids, staff are also facing increasing amounts of pressure and stress. 67% of teachers report being stressed at work. 74% say the inability to switch off from work is the major contributing factor to a negative work-life balance. More than three-quarters of teachers surveyed experienced work-related behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms and more than half were considering leaving the profession due to poor health (Education Support Partnership, 2018)
The Every Child Matters agenda positions schools as being responsible for the mental well-being of their students, so now perhaps the issue of stress, anxiety and examinations is being taken more seriously than ever before.
I work with young people and staff to have a deeper understanding of stress, what it is, where it comes from and what to do about it, which will help to maintain motivation and focus without the need to control or manage catastrophic thinking and additional pressure. Human beings, young or older, can learn to navigate challenges without jeopardising their mental well being.