Shocking number of UK pupils suffer anxiety and depression

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Some 95 percent of staff have witnessed increased distress across primary and secondary school pupils. The disturbing trend includes 72 percent of staff noticing an increase in self-harm, 61 percent in suicidal thoughts and 56 percent in eating disorders among their pupils, according to statistics from the children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

Around 100,000 children have dropped off school registers since the pandemic started, according to the Centre for Social Justice, raising fears many could be vulnerable to increased mental health issues, domestic abuse and recruitment by criminal gangs.

“Although these numbers are shocking, we are not surprised as they reflect what we’re seeing in schools across the country through our frontline support,” said Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be.

“As society tries to regain a sense of normality after two challenging years, we must remember that school leaders and staff remain on the frontline, coping with all the additional needs that pupils are bringing through their gates.”

Analysis by the charity Pro Bono Economics found for every £1 invested in Place2Be’s school-based counselling, society received a £6.20 benefit from reduced rates of truancy, smoking, exclusion, depression and crime, and higher rates of employment and wages.

Research FORYOUNGMINDs showed 74 percent of teachers believed school closures had a negative impact on young people’s mental health and 78 percent wanted extra pastoral help for pupils.

The Sunday Express is leading calls for better resources and support for vulnerable youngsters.

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