How to Spot Mental Health Issues in Young People

George Heriot’s School sees the promotion of positive mental and physical health in students as a top priority. Throughout school, if a child/young person experiences difficulties the teachers, guidance staff and senior leaders work with them and their families to manage what is happening. A number of staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid and we have an Educational Psychologist on site. If necessary, we liaise closely with external services, signposting children and their families to the most suitable support. Through these partnerships we co-ordinate support plans that seek to help young people deal with a range of mental health issues.

There are many signs which indicate that a young person is experiencing mental or emotional health issues.

Signs to watch out for:

  • Changes in activity level e.g giving up hobbies
  • Increased Isolation from friends/family, becoming socially withdrawn
  • Changes in clothing e.g long sleeves in summer
  • Changes in academic achievement (+/-)
  • Signs of physical harm that are repeated or appear non-accidental
  • Failure to take care of personal appearance
  • Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope
  • Changes in eating/sleeping habits
  • Talking/joking about self-harm or suicide
  • Changes in activity/mood
  • Repeated physical pain or nausea with no evident cause
  • Increase in lateness/absenteeism
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Difficulties with peer relationships
  • Spending more time in the bathroom
  • Seeming overly cheery after bout of depression
  • Abusing drugs/alcohol

As part of our curriculum, we destigmatize attitudes to mental health and teach all children about the value of looking after your emotional health. We also engage with parents/carers to manage anxiety, build self-esteem and promote resilience by raising children and teens with confidence.

At George Heriot’s School we believe that everyone should ‘Love Your Mind’ and be kind to yourself and others.