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Teachers 'need training in mental health issues'

07/01/2011 Joanna
All professionals working with children should be equipped to spot the signs of depression.

This is the opinion of Lucie Russell, director of campaigns at charity YoungMinds, who said it is important that teachers are able to spot the signs when a pupil is struggling.

She explained: "In schools at the moment, children's professionals aren't really trained in that way, and that includes school nurses as well.

"There is much more emphasis on the physical - knowing what to do if a child hurts themselves physically or has a physical illness - than if they're struggling and stressed out and have mental health problems."

Children and parents who are concerned about depression and other mental health issues should set up an appointment with their GP or contact a charity such as YoungMinds, Ms Russell added.

A study carried out recently by academics at the University of Bristol and University of Cambridge revealed that girls are more susceptible to depression if they go through puberty at a young age.

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