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Education team to tackle increasing mental health problems

A specialist university research group has been set up to examine mental health issues across the education sector.

mental ill health classroom

The academics, including Professor Jonathan Glazzard and Dr Anthea Rose from Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Education, have established a new Special Interest Group (SIG) at the British Education Research Association (BERA).

They aim to raise awareness and promote mental health and wellbeing in education at all levels, encouraging and supporting research in the area.

The team, which also includes Michelle Jayman at the University of West London and Lydia Lewis of the University of Wolverhampton, will create a forum to discuss issues, share ideas and influence policy and practice on a national level.

Professor Glazzard said: “"We are delighted to launch this new Special Interest Group. Given the increasing numbers of students in higher education presenting with mental ill health and the fact that one in ten children and young people has a diagnosed mental health need, research into this this field is vital. Mental health is everyone's business."

"This SIG will promote discussion and research into all aspects of mental health, including the increased prevalence of mental ill health in higher education staff."

Last year, Leeds Beckett set up the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools to promote positive mental health across the UK’s education system.

Research published by the Centre and teaching advice website earlier this year revealed an increase in mental health issues for both pupils and their teachers, who believed their own poor mental health was having a detrimental impact on their pupils’ progress.

Nationally, sharp rises in referrals to mental health services have been reported across all sectors, from primary pupils to university students.

The new Special Interest Group will be the first at BERA to focus specifically on mental health and wellbeing.

As part of their role, the new mental health team will plan an events programme around mental health and wellbeing in education and take an active role in BERA’s annual conference.

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