Friday 30 September 2016

91pc of mums hope for a greater focus on mental health in Irish primary schools

Published 27/07/2015 | 13:13

New research has found that 91pc of mums think that mental health education should be actively taught in Irish schools
New research has found that 91pc of mums think that mental health education should be actively taught in Irish schools

The majority of Irish mums believe that a greater focus on mental health needs to be placed on children in primary and secondary schools throughout the country

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New research has found that 91pc of mums think that mental health education should be actively taught in Irish schools to give children the tools and the knowledge to cope with stress and other mental health difficulties.

Back to School Insights 2015, a report published by Mummypages.ie, revealed that 92pc of mothers believe children should have easy access to mental health services during their time in school to help cope with issues like bullying, cyber bullying and exam stress in particular.

Laura Haugh, a spokesperson for Mummypages.ie revealed that mental health is a huge concern for Irish parents and is a big worry ahead of the new school year.

“In recent years, Ireland has seen an increase in the number of young people being diagnosed with depressions and anxiety disorders. To tackle this issue MummyPages mums are calling for mental health education to be taught in schools and access to medical professionals to be readily available to all students,” she said.

“Earlier this year, the Department of Education released new guidelines on promoting positive mental health in primary schools which highlights the need for collaboration between parents, schools and health agencies. The announcement by the Department will go a long way in tackling the issue however parents feel schools should teach children coping mechanism for stress and mindfulness techniques especially in the run up to exams.”

The report found that 81pc of parents worry that their child will be bullied in school and feel that social media heightens the stress felt by children and teenagers in Irish schools.

Although cyber-bullying is a major worry for Irish mums, 67pc believe that their children’s school makes active strides to prevent abuse on social media.

Mummypages.ie spokesperson Laura Haugh recommends that parents limit the time spent on social media by their children and teens.

“Interestingly, 74% of mums feel social media amplifies the stress felt by children and teenagers. MummyPages would recommend mums monitor the amount of time children and teenagers spend on the social media and digital devices, as it can affect sleeping patterns which amplifies stress further.

“Social media can also alienate users and young people can begin to harbour feelings of inadequacy as they benchmark their lives against their friends’ ‘lives’,” she said.

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