Mental health support improves behaviour

Implementing school-based mental health support can result in marked improvements regarding self-reported behavioural problems in primary classrooms. This is the suggestion of new research led by University College London, which found the embedding of such help through the Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) programme can assist children feeling troubled or stressed.

It was demonstrated that a pupil's difficulties when it comes to controlling aggression in secondary school can be markedly reduced through the early use of tools that provide links between schools and specialist mental health services, improve communication between education and care professionals and increase the provision of mental health information to school goers.

The TaMHS system saw more than £60 million handed to local authorities across England to help develop these approaches for selected schools.

Authors of the report noted: "It may make sense to prioritise mental health work with primary school pupils in relation to behavioural problems to have maximum impact before problems become too entrenched."

Dr Shreeta Raja, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "The positive outcomes for children and young people highlight the importance of early recognition and timely mental health intervention.  

"This intervention can take many forms and in some cases, especially for secondary school pupils, something as simple as provision of information can contribute to greater improvements over time.

"Health, education and social care services have been committed to a three-year programme with positive outcomes and ideas for ways forward. 

"The benefits of a multi-agency approach to addressing overall emotional health and wellbeing for children, young people and families is clear."