How can schools tackle the growing mental health crisis?

As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week, it's crucial to address the pressing mental health crisis among children and young people in education. With 1 in 5 affected, schools must prioritise well-being; in this blog, we explore ways schools can do this. 


As we observe Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 13th May -17th May 2024, it's essential to shine a light on the pressing issue of mental health among children and young people in the UK. According to a recent report published by the government in February 2024, 1 in 5 children and young people in England aged eight to 25 had a probable mental disorder in 2023. This alarming statistic highlights the urgency for schools to prioritise mental health and well-being initiatives to stop the crisis from getting any worse.

Tackling the crisis

The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023 report published by the NHS in November 2023 also highlights the concerning trend—a decline in mental health and well-being among children and young people. Coupled with this decline is an increase in demand for mental health services. In response to these challenges, the government and NHS England have committed to policies aimed at enhancing the availability and quality of mental health care.

Initiatives by NHS England

NHS England has taken proactive steps to address the mental health crisis among young people by rolling out Mental Health Support Teams within schools and colleges. These teams provide early support to individuals grappling with mild to moderate mental health issues. 398 teams are operational, covering 35% of pupils and learners in further education. An additional 200 teams are in training and expected to be operational by Spring 2025, ultimately covering over 50% of the country's pupils and learners.

The role of schools

In light of these developments, schools play an important role in tackling the growing mental health crisis. While initiatives like Mental Health Support Teams are invaluable, schools can also implement their own strategies to promote good mental well-being among students.Secondary-Role-3

Five strategies for improving mental well-being in schools


Integrating mindfulness practices into daily routines can help students develop self-awareness, regulate emotions, and reduce stress. Schools can incorporate short mindfulness exercises into morning meetings, transitions between classes, or dedicated mindfulness sessions. These practices encourage students to pause, reflect, and ground themselves, promoting positive mental well-being throughout the day.

Create a positive school atmosphere

Creating a positive and inclusive school environment promotes a sense of belonging among students. Schools can implement strategies such as peer mentoring programs, kindness initiatives, and student-led clubs focused on mental health awareness. By promoting empathy, respect, and supportiveness, schools can create an environment where students feel valued and accepted, contributing to their overall well-beingSecondary-Mission-3

Provide access to mental health resources

Ensuring that students have access to supportive resources and mental health services is essential for addressing their diverse needs. Schools can establish on-site counselling services, mental health support teams, or partnerships with community organisations to offer counselling, therapy, and other interventions. Additionally, providing informational resources and promoting help-seeking behaviours reduce stigma and encourage students to seek support when needed.

Encourage physical activity and outdoor time

Encouraging regular physical activity and outdoor time has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health. Schools can incorporate daily physical education classes, breaks, and outdoor learning opportunities into their schedules. Physical activity not only improves mood and reduces stress but also enhances cognitive function and academic performance, contributing to overall well-being.Promoting physical activity in schools

Educate students about mental health

Educating students about mental health and emotional well-being equips them with the knowledge and skills to deal with mental health more effectively. Schools can integrate mental health education into the curriculum through dedicated lessons, workshops, or guest speakers. Topics may include stress management techniques, coping strategies, recognising signs of mental illness, and destigmatising discussions around mental health.


Collaboration between healthcare providers, policymakers, and schools is key to tackling mental health awareness. Prioritising mental health initiatives and utilising resources can help schools significantly improve student well-being.

Helping schools to support their students

Juniper’s mission is simple: “We look after you so that you can look after our children.” Our Essential Training Courses for schools do just that.

We have put together a series of dedicated well-being courses that cover all aspects of a student’s health: physical, mental, and emotional. These courses help educators gain the tools and knowledge necessary to create a supportive environment for their students.

Contact our expert training team to learn how we can help your school address the growing mental health crisis among young peoplSafeguarding and child protection (Without Checkboxes)

Alternatively, you can   download our free Safeguarding Checklist to ensure your school is meeting all the necessary requirements for keeping your students safe at school