A teenager from Peebles is hoping to educate teachers on mental health, so they are better equipped to deal with students who are experiencing problems.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Lookaround on Thursday 2nd October.
Having faced such struggles herself, Allie Mackinnon (17) feels that greater understanding among teaching staff could help young people with mental health issues get the aid they need.
‘I didn’t want to get up and go to school at all,’ explains Allie.
‘I wanted to stay at home because I felt it was safer, but then I realised that I didn’t feel safe anywhere.
‘Teachers should really have some sort of idea about what to do when a student needs that kind of support.’
Chris O’Sullivan, Policy Development Manager at the Mental Health Foundation, features in the broadcast item explaining the extent of the problem.
He says: ‘Roughly one in ten young people will have a mental health problem, so that could be three in a class.
‘And there is evidence that suggests not everybody who experiences distress, for which they can get treatment, actually gets that help.
‘We really hope to see an environment where young people, who need help, could come forward and get that support as quickly as possible.’
Feeling as though more could be done to help others like her, Allie is encouraging teenagers experiencing such issues to stay strong and believe that things can improve.
‘It’s not just as simple as saying it’s going to get better,’ she explains. ‘There will be a really long struggle. Three steps forward, two steps back.
‘But then eventually, you’ll get three steps forward and stay three steps forward until you finally get to the point where you know you’re going to be okay.’
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