Mental health issues need to be at the centre of school days – Armstrong

Alliance Strangford MLA, Kellie Armstrong, has said that children’s mental health issues need to be recognised and at the centre of the school day.

Ms Armstrong was speaking at the launch of a report on a conference held in October 2019 to discuss mental health issues affecting children who attend integrated schools. The report was produced by the Integrated Education Fund, the Northern Ireland Council for integrated Education and the Association of Parent Teachers in Integrated Education.

Kellie Armstrong said: “The conference held last October was a great opportunity for children to explore the potential causes and impact of mental health issues. It’s important that from an early age children know it’s ok to talk about their feelings and worries.

“The report of the conference shows that there needs to be a whole school approach to mental health, with training for teachers, programmes connecting with parents, providing relaxation rooms and mental health and emotional well-being delivered through the curriculum.

“This report sets out a plan for integrated schools to seek funding and expertise to deliver vital mental health and well-being support for children.”