Community leaders from across the city are calling on the council to introduce school-based counseling amid fears of a mental health crisis.
More than 250 people from Brighton and Hove Citizens, an alliance of community groups across the city, will meet with Council Chair Phelim Mac Cafferty and Dr. Jane Padmore of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to urge her to support the measure and will hear stories of young people who have been unable to access psychological support due to an overburdened system.
The group said the current support system means that students who do not need higher-level support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) but need more help than what teachers are trained to do “slip through the gaps”. .
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Residents said: “With increasing numbers of young people finding it difficult to manage their mental health and with waiting lists for CAMHS growing longer, investing in preventive measures such as school-based counseling is crucial.
“We’ve spoken to thousands of young people, parents and school staff, all of whom want to see this and when the evidence is clear that the advice is reducing pressure on the NHS and saving money, it seems like a no-brainer.”
The community leaders’ meeting with Cllr Mac Cafferty and Dr. Padmore is taking place at Varndean School on Balfour Road tonight.
Fi, a student at the school, said properly trained counselors would allow her to focus better on her schoolwork and enjoy life more.
She said: “When my friends confided in me about their problems, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone how worried I was because it was other people’s business.
“I soon became obsessed with the fact that my friends were better off than me, and I ended up becoming depressed.
“I spent over a year feeling miserable and believing that I was the one who needed to help my friends get better since I was the one they wanted to talk to and had no one to talk to, from who I believed he was trained.
“Life felt so overwhelming. I just didn’t know what to do.
“My school helped me talk about my feelings, but if I could have talked to a counselor I would have been able to manage my feelings much better.”
According to the Health Foundation, up to one in six children has a mental illness.
Brighton and Hove City Council has been asked to comment.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23112142.brighton-community-groups-call-schools-based-counselling/?ref=rss Brighton community groups are calling for school-based guidance