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New Mental Health Resources in Schools


Building mental resilience in young people has never been more of a priority.  According to the World Health Organisation ‘Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.’


The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was  ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’  and the commitment to this has been reflected in a set of new resources launched by Kate Silverton and developed by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The resources comprise of animation, assembly and lesson plans featuring two central characters, Sasha and Andre who are struggling with their emotions. The animation was co-designed by young people and is particularly targeted at 11-14-year olds. The characters in the animation help distinguish between every day feelings, the common experience of growing up and persistent and overwhelming negative emotions.


Jaime Smith, director of Anna Freud was on Woman’s Hour on Tuesday 2nd October talking about the new project and also stated that from Autumn 2020 mental resilience will be a mandatory part of the curriculum for all primary and secondary school aged children.