The number of referrals for specialist NHS mental health care reached a record high in England by the end of 2021, with just under a quarter – 1.025 million – for children or adolescents, the BBC reports today. This follows a similar report back in February raising concerns about suicidal thoughts and self harm.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says the pandemic has led to unprecedented demand and backlogs and services are struggling to keep up. This mirrors what school leaders and teachers tell 360 is a very difficult situation in schools.
The 360 safeguarding module, part-funded by the NHS, and with advice from safeguarding and mental health specialists, helps teachers to address some of these difficult issues in the classroom with young people. It uses Skill City, a virtual reality environment, to pose realistic dilemmas, and supports teachers to facilitate discussion, decision making and reflection, so that young people know how to seek help, and look after themselves, their friends and families. A database of further support with links to relevant specialist schemes is also provided.
Schools can now register for early access. If you are an organisation offering further curriculum resources or support, get in touch to be added to the database. 360 is also keen to speak to public sector organisations wishing to see this resource rolled out in their area.