Led by The Shaw Mind Foundation, HeaducationUK is the national crusade for compulsory mental health education in the UK.
We have teamed up with key allies from the charity sector, mental health activists and clinical psychologists, to make compulsory mental health education a reality in all UK schools.
In 2017, our petition, which called on the government to make mental health education compulsory in schools, reached over 100,000 signatures in just three short months. This was a phenomenal achievement in itself and was only made possible due to each and every one of our supporters, mental health professionals and the wider community alike. It proved to be a clear indication of the public’s appetite for this kind of social change.
On the 19th July 2018, government released guidance on new proposals for implementing compulsory health education into all UK schools, commencing September 2020.
The change in guidance comes after the publication of last year’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper, which was updated following a debate in parliament – triggered by our petition and HeaducationUK campaign to make mental health education compulsory across the UK. Read the full response here.
Why do we need to make this change?
HeaducationUK’s objective of getting compulsory mental health education in UK schools will:
• Help prevent the development of ill mental health in children and teenagers, and aim to reduce the vast numbers of children and young people suffering from mental illness.
• Rid our society of the “sticking plaster” approach that the UK government have long adopted when trying to deal with mental illness in children and young people, and educate our children and future generations for a happier and healthier adulthood
• Take a huge physical and financial strain off the NHS, CAMHS, social services and teachers by providing teachers with the knowledge to understand and spot early signs of emotional distress to help prevent mental illness in children from developing further, thus reducing the risk of hospitalisation in adulthood
• Normalise mental health issues as an accepted human condition so that children will feel confident enough to open up to each other and those who care for them, and therefore create a more proactive society in addressing mental health issues, giving everyone the ability and confidence to speak out about mental illness.
To find out more about the Case for Change and how mental health education will be taught, click here.
Going forward, The Shaw Mind Foundation will continue to commission an independent report to show the long-term impact that compulsory mental health education will have on the workplace, social media, NHS, UK economy, and family mental health and wellbeing. Compulsory mental health education will be a game changer. Our report will also make recommendations on how it can be efficiently, and cost effectively, implemented into the curriculum.
We will work alongside MPs, teachers and trainers, and put forward ideas and formulate a course that will receive the positive outcomes that we know this can achieve.
While 2020 seems far away, we will continue to support schools and organisations with mental health training both for now and after these changes come into place. It is key that everyone recognises the importance of understanding mental health issues and knowing where to seek help when needed. We are providing, and will continue to provide, training and education to support this.
Generation after generation have been let down by the lack of education and understanding around mental health and positive mental health maintenance. It is vital to remember that good mental health education lasts a lifetime.
Support HeaducationUK and you will be supporting our children not only to survive, but to thrive.