A charity supported by the Duchess of Cambridge is to run workshops in Jewish schools to help them tackle mental health issues among pupils.
Place2Be has been chosen by the Partnerships for Jewish Schools (Pajes) to organise training programmes for teachers.
According to research done by Pajes, schools reported increasingly having to tackle a variety of issues affecting student wellbeing, including depression, anxiety and concerns around self-esteem.
Rabbi David Meyer, Pajes executive director, said “Our students are at the forefront of all our activity and we need to take every step necessary to ensure that their educational environment is one that can provide the required support that every student in every facet of their daily school life requires.”
In a report published earlier this week, the House of Commons education committee said it was “crucial” to train staff in schools to recognise the warning signs of mental ill-health in students.
Evidence presented to MPs suggested a “growing prevalence of mental ill-health among children and young people, particularly for behavioural and emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression and conduct disorders”.
In 50 per cent of cases, mental illness in adult life, excluding dementia, starts before the age of 15 and three-quarters by 18, they said.
While teachers were not mental health professionals, they were “in many cases well-placed to identify mental ill- health and refer students to further assessment and support”.
Funding for the Pajes programme has come from the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust and the Wolfson Jewish Schools.