Drama & mental well-being in schools

In 2017, 79% of teachers in both primary and secondary schools reported seeing an increase in stress, anxiety and panic attacks in their pupils, as well as a rise in depression, self-harm and eating disorders.

Without specialist training – which isn’t currently a requirement – a lot of those working in schools feel unprepared.

It is reported that 1 in 10 children aged 5 to 16 years old experience issues with mental health, with up to half of those experiencing symptoms by the age of 14.

Therefore, awareness, prevention and early intervention is key

Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate support from an early age.

The emotional well-being of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

In order to help their pupils succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy” Department of Education, 2014

Here at Creative Minds we want to work with schools, teachers and parents to support the emotional well-being of children. The inherent qualities of the arts should not be underestimated for their value in helping enrich the lives of young people.

Across all age ranges, there is firm evidence that engagement in performing arts programmes impacts positively on many areas of learning and well-being.

The arts can inspire and motivate children’s creativity – allowing them to find their voice and open up their imagination – as well as giving them space to explore challenging themes more openly. It can also build skills such as confidence, resilience and self-esteem.

Mental health problems can stem from a variety of factors effecting children and young people in todays life- cyber bullying, exam pressure, body image, abuse, sexuality, illness, bereavement, poverty, discrimination, alcohol/drug use; just to name a few.

‘Arts Council England’s 2014 Evidence Review reported that levels of well-being were greater amongst those with higher arts and cultural engagement, and those that participate in the arts can reduce social exclusion and isolation as well as increase cognitive abilities.’

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