Should school attempt to diagnose children with mental health disorders?
November 14, 2018
By: Jenna Rachid
Government advisor Tom Bennett says schools should not attempt to diagnose children with mental health disorders as there is a danger of ‘medicalising’ normal childhood behaviour, the Telegraph reports.
Bennett, a government advisor on behaviour in schools, was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to review schools behaviours policies.
Bennett told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Teachers are not trained clinicians and schools need to be careful not to be amateur diagnoses. There is a danger of medicalising normal responses. If a child is stressed because of an exam or if a child is going through a bereavement that is not a mental health problem.’
New guidance published by the DfE says that schools must ensure that mental wellbeing and the resilience of students is promoted.
Bennett believes that the increased awareness around mental health has created confusion around recognising symptoms. ‘It’s perhaps understandable that schools and teachers are exposed to these issues. But there is a lack of understanding about what mental health issues are,’ says Bennett.
A survey by Diabetes UK has found that 77% of respondents often or always feel down as a result of their family member’s diabetes, Diabetes Times report.
The online survey reveals the real impact of diabetes on the patient, as well as their carers’ mental health.
Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said: ‘Caring for a child or adult with diabetes can sometimes be hard, and access to specialist information and support for both those with diabetes and their families are instrumental in safely managing the condition.’
Carers of older people with type 2 diabetes who took part in the study highlighted the importance of support from experience peers and having an opportunity to be themselves would have on improving their wellbeing.
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