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14 May 2018, 09:14 | Silvia Roy
Ella Lane is a Grade 10 student at Claremont Secondary School
The number of referrals by schools in England seeking mental health treatment for pupils has risen by more than a third in the last three years, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.
The NSPCC found schools in England seeking professional help for pupils from NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - CAMHS - made 123,713 referrals since 2014/15. In the North of England there were 35,069 referrals during this time period.
In the east of England, schools made 7,881 referrals to CAMHS, but nearly a third of these were deemed ineligible for treatment. An average of 183 referrals were made per school day in 2017/18. In the North of England, 10,051 referrals were made in the past year - the equivalent of 53 every school day.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: "Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point".
'At the universal level, we need Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) at all primary and secondary schools, so that children can self-manage better.
"In recent years, huge steps have been taken to improve mental health awareness across society, including in the workplace", said Jaan Madan, workplace lead at Mental Health First Aid England. It is vital that Government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don't have access to support elsewhere'.
By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
"We are also asking for well-being days to be provided to public sector workers as part of reducing the pressure on those who work hardest to look after us".
"Our counsellors are literally saving lives, and it concerns us that we can not help every child who desperately needs us".
The NSPCC said some young people had told Childline that they only received specialist support when they reached crisis point, and have even asked Childline counsellors to act on their behalf to get help quicker. That is why are allocating £300 million, over and above the additional £1.4bn being invested in specialist services, to provide more support linked to schools.
"We know we need to do more which is why we have extended our schools and NHS link pilot to deliver training in 20 more areas of the country this year", he said.
Almost three out of five (57 per cent) of those who said a colleague or employee had spoken to them about a mental health issue were "glad they could confide in me", but one in four admitted they felt uninformed, 21 per cent said they felt embarrassed and a further 17 per cent did not feel equipped to know what to do or say.
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