Managing Education and Mental Health

Managing Education and Mental Health

London students are achieving at a higher rate than the rest of the UK. However this comes at a cost. Both financially and emotionally for students, parents and teachers. In 2015-16, more than 15,000 UK-based first-year students disclosed mental health issues, Institute of Public Policy Research analysis suggests. 

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 It is evident that the suicide rate is more prevalent amongst men.  A number of things are related to causes of depression including stress, bad sleeping patterns and unhealthy diets.  Why is it that more men are committing suicide? Possibly, is it because there is a stigma on men relating to expressing their emotions. It may be that they feel that saying how they feel would make them less manly, as a result they are not able to get help and support.  As well as the pressure of being the main provider. On the other hand,  there are students who express how they feel, but they still do not receive the support they need. 

A common cause of depression and anxiety is stress. With the mounting pressures to be successful many children and adults will be under a considerable amount of stress with school/work. As well as the fact many young people in London are studying and working. With average house prices in London at £478,853  there is an enormous pressure to be able to provide. According to UCL  a single, graduate student studying for a full year, would have an estimated average living cost of  £20,070 for the year.

Teachers are often overworked and underpaid,  'teachers routinely work 55 hours or more',
with an average wage for a newly qualified teacher in London at £23,720, or £29,664 in inner London. Unfortunately, many teachers face oversized classes with a ratio of 30:1. Every person is individual, as is their learning style. As a consequence, many students have gaps in their learning by the time they reach secondary school.

Some parents recognise this, as a result More than 40% of pupils in London have a private tutor at some point in their school career. A range of services are available including 1-2-1 in home tuition and group tuition. Although, not all parents can afford this, with  2.3 million Londoners living in poverty, many students are left behind. In 2015 nearly  1/3 of students in London did not achieve the A*-C threshold in GCSE English, with a slightly larger performance in Mathematics. Evidently, education being linked to future financial opportunities, creates pressure and stress on students and parents. Ultimately, this can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Emotional support and open communication is essential. In my opinion, children should be taught emotional intelligence from a young age. Including how to express their emotions; causes of depression/anxiety; healthy outlets for these feelings; how sleeping pattern effects emotions; and that well-being is the most important thing. Of course this cannot be changed overnight. But as a society, we can collectively try to help each person around us feel supported to make small changes.