How MHE is currently taught in the UK
The UK national curriculum puts a lot of emphasis on teaching our children about how our bodies work, physical illnesses, and how exercise and nutrition can keep us healthy. These are taught in mandatory subjects such as PE (physical education) and biology.
But what are we doing to teach them about mental health and the possibility of mental illness?
Currently, mental health education is taught inconsistently in the UK, and only in secondary schools – despite 1 in 5 children experiencing a mental health difficulty before the age of 11.
Mental health education is delivered via the non-compulsory subject PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic), or sometimes during school assembly or drama lessons. As PSHE is a non-compulsory subject, this means that not all schools teach it, and that in turn means that mental health education isn’t always taught.
The team behind HeaducationUK believes that the system is failing our children by not providing the adequate education on mental health at an earlier age, and not within a framework which is compulsory. This means that mental health education is all too often overlooked or dropped altogether. Simply put, we aren’t equipping our children with the knowledge and skills to understand something that affects three children (between the ages of 5 – 16) in every UK classroom.