SAMH survey shows lack of mental health training in teachers

Date: 31st January 2018
Category: Mental health

A report released by SAMH entitled 'Going To Be ... Well Trained' highlights the lack of adequate mental health training available for teachers in Scotland.

SAMH conducted an online survey with school staff during 2017. Respondents consisted mostly of teachers but also included classroom assistants, administration staff, and janitorial staff. Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • 66% of teachers who responded do not feel that they have received sufficient training in mental health to allow them to carry out their role properly.
  • Only 12% of teachers who responded felt they had adequate training in mental health.
  • Only 1 in 100 responses recalled doing detailed work on mental health when they were students.

Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH, commented on the reports findings by saying:

"Although health and wellbeing is a core area of the Curriculum for Excellence, this survey shows clearly that unlike almost all other subject areas teachers have had insufficient or no training on mental health to allow them to do their job.

"Yet our mental health impacts on everything we do. Improving the self-esteem, resilience and wellbeing of all our young people must be a priority if we want them to learn.

"While we know that work on mental health training is underway as part of the Mental Health Strategy, we think more needs to be done - at a quicker pace, and on a national level.

"The situation is urgent and school staff and pupils can't wait any longer. It's got to change. We want the Scottish Government to commit to establishing a national programme of mental health training that is consistent to meet the needs of school staff."

The research for the report was undertaken as part of SAMH's 'Going To Be' campaign which focuses on the issue of mental health in school. The campaign is advocating for more awareness and training around mental health in schools. The campaign asks include:

  • By the end of 2018, create a programme to train all school staff in mental health.
  • By 2020, provide counselling services across Scotland's secondary schools.
  • By 2020, let children and young people stay in specialist services till age 25.
  • Read the full 'Going To Be ... Well-Trained' report here.