More Than Four In Five Parents In Yorkshire Call For Greater Focus On Mental Health In The Core Curriculum As Over Half Express Concerns For Children’s Emotional Wellbeing

HealthMental Health

New research conducted on behalf of Britvic and wellbeing charity Bounce Forward, reveals the concerns of parents and teachers about the lack of resources dedicated to tackling rising mental wellbeing challenges for children.

As children grapple with the pressures of growing up, over half (54%) of Yorkshire based parents surveyed expressed concerns about their child’s mental resilience and emotional wellbeing. More than four in five (83%) said that they believe lessons in mental health should be added to the curriculum alongside Maths and English for children in primary and secondary school.

These findings come as Britvic announces a multi-year funding partnership with Bounce Forward, a charity which aims to integrate mental resilience and wellbeing training into the core school curriculum in an effort to equip children with the tools to manage challenging situations in day-to-day life.

Teachers are often the first port of call for students struggling with the challenges of everyday life, with three in five (64%) teachers across the UK admitting that their students turn to them at least once a week for advice about their wellbeing. But it’s not just students that look to education professionals. Over two thirds (64%) of parents in Yorkshire would turn to teachers if they were concerned with their child’s mental resilience, compared to a third (35%) who would turn to their GP and over a fifth (21%) would turn to the internet for answers.

Despite the classroom being the place that both parents and students turn for support, three quarters (76%) of teachers across the country feel that they lack the time and a third (33%) believe they don’t have the training to handle supporting children with these challenges.

Overall, parents in Yorkshire said that schools should be better equipped, with 76% believing they should do more to help children prepare for the mental and emotional challenges of life.

As part of the partnership between Britvic and Bounce Forward, Britvic employees have nominated almost 150 schools in their communities to receive fully funded support from Bounce Forward. The funding will provide the schools and their teachers with high quality training and equip them with evidence-based teaching and learning resources. This will enable them to deliver weekly lessons so children can learn and develop the skills to build their mental resilience and emotional wellbeing, so they become healthy and happy adults.

Lucy Bailey, CEO & Founder of Bounce Forward, said: “I know teachers recognise the need to teach mental resilience and emotional wellbeing, but the reality is that this type of teaching and learning remains a poor relation and not just for schools in England, but across the world. Parents and students are looking to the classroom for advice as they struggle in the face of unprecedented physical and mental health challenges, and the disruption to learning and life chances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the question now is: can we afford for mental health education to remain the poor relation any longer?

“Now more than ever we need to build psychological fitness in children, young people and the adults around them to ensure a thriving society that can navigate the 21st century. Through our partnership with Britvic, we can shift the narrative from a ‘mental health crisis’ to one of empowerment for the next generation by supporting schools across the nation to better prepare young people with the mental and emotional agility they need to lead rich and healthy lives.”

Kathryn Partridge, Britvic group corporate affairs director, added: “Through our new charity partnership, Britvic is supporting Bounce Forward to reach more children, build psychological fitness, and help ignite the conversation about the importance of children’s mental resilience.

Britvic is committed to having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate through our Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainable business programme. We have long supported opportunities for young people through our award-winning early careers programmes, including our recent support for 18-24-year-olds through the Government’s Kickstart scheme. We are delighted to have begun our partnership with Bounce Forward and are excited to support this important cause.”

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