Good mental health is absolutely key to a good education, but we know that too many young people are suffering and don't know where to even begin to find the support they need. That's why we chose the vital issue of quality mental health education in schools as our first ever national campaign.Allan Faulds, SYG Elections & Campaigns Officer
The Scottish Young Greens are excited to launch our first ever national campaign - Healthy Minds, Healthy Students. At the heart of our campaign is the call for every pupil to be given high quality mental health education as a basic part of their education.
Good mental health is vital to ensuring the best possible education for young people. Unfortunately too many pupils across Scotland are struggling and aren't getting the support they need. The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) estimates that 3 pupils in every classroom will have experienced mental health issues by the time they are 16. At the same time, they found in a recent survey that two in three teachers felt they lacked training in how to support their pupils mental health. A BBC investigation also found that almost half of Scotland's councils don't have any on-site counsellors in schools. It's clear there needs to be action.
At the same time, we've been carrying out our own survey of Young Green members to find out about their experiences. Amongst the stories shared with us there was a common theme; that they simply didn't feel they knew enough about what was happening with their own health, and didn't know how to get support. Almost everyone was certain that being taught about mental health in school would have worked wonders, both in terms of the reassurance and guidance they would have had, and from helping to reduce the stigma of mental health issues amongst their peers.
Ross Greer, MSP for the West of Scotland - and Young Green! - has been working hard since his election on improving Personal and Social Education (PSE) in schools. As a result of this the Scottish Government is currently conducting a review of PSE. The Scottish Young Greens want them to use this opportunity to commit to providing that quality mental health education to every pupil as part of the PSE curriculum.
Speaking about the launch of the campaign at the Scottish Green Party's autumn conference this weekend, SYG Elections & Campaigns Officer Allan Faulds said;
Good mental health is absolutely key to a good education, but we know that too many young people are suffering and don't know where to even begin to find the support they need. That's why we chose the vital issue of quality mental health education in schools as our first ever national campaign.
You can find out more about the Healthy Minds, Healthy Students campaign and how you can get involved on the dedicated campaign page.