Charity responds to new evidence showing pupil mental health crisis

The Youth Sport Trust says getting active is key to tackling declining mental wellbeing.

More than eight out of 10 teachers say mental health among pupils in England has deteriorated in the past two years, new evidence from the National Education Union has revealed.

The survey was conducted with 8,600 school leaders, teachers and support workers. Stuart Kay, Schools Director at the Youth Sport Trust, said:

"This research confirms what we have known for some time – that our young people are facing wave after wave of added pressures affecting their mental health that we didn’t have as little as 20 years ago.

“A focus on social media, exams, and a rise in inactivity is why we are championing the role that physical activity has to play in good mental health and emotional wellbeing. We know through recent evidence from Sport England that young people who are active are more likely to feel happy.

This is why we are urging schools to help stop this downward spiral in the light of further evidence that young people’s mental health is at crisis point. We must ensure personal development and PE is at the heart of the curriculum.

“Our research has found that secondary schools are reducing time for PE on the curriculum. But to help young people grow up happy and healthy - both physically and emotionally - it’s vital that we turn this around, make PE a core subject and ensure every young person is able to enjoy a good quality physical education.”

Published on 17 April 2020