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Young people's mental health: What's school got to do with it?

There’s a growing crisis in young people’s mental health. 75% of mental illness begins before the age of 18 - and 3 children in an average classroom are affected by a diagnosable condition.

This new episode of MQ Open Mind explores the role the education system can play in solving this crisis – and asks, how responsible are schools and teachers?

We're joined by Damani, a college student with experience of anxiety, Nick, who was a teacher for over 20 years and Lucy, a researcher focussing on mental illness during adolescence.

Nick and Damani share their own experiences of mental illness in a school setting and discuss if school is the right place to tackle mental health problems. They also delve into the pressures of today’s curriculum and question what the purpose of school should be – in this day and age, does being street-smart trump being book-smart?

Lucy sheds light on the workings of the teenage brain – and how its development can explain why young people are more susceptible to mental illness. She also talks about her time working on Myriad, a nationwide project investigating how schools prepare students to manage their mental health and improve resilience. Finally, she de-mystifies the headlines behind social media and its effects on young people’s mental health.

The episode ends with our visions for a ‘schooltopia’, and what must change in order to achieve these. It’s clear we have a long way to go – but what’s even clearer is that researchers, young people and teachers all have a vital role to play.

Listen, like and subscribe to our MQ Open Mind podcast on iTunes or Podbean, or listen to this episode below.

Last updated: 19 February 2019

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