New mental health outlook for Argyll and Bute

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Members of the council’s community services committee have approved a new mental health and wellbeing guidance document for schools in the area.

Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said of the ‘Our Children, Their Mental Health’ document: “We need to help stop the stigma often associated with mental health disorders and ensure that our young people and staff have access to the support they need.

“Our education staff already do a tremendous job of supporting our children and young people through difficult times in their lives, but it’s not always easy to spot the signs of those struggling; those who are putting on a brave face but breaking apart behind their smile.

“Sometimes it’s staff themselves who are suffering in silence with their own mental health issues.

“This new document will help encourage positive conversations about mental health with pupils and staff, and will ensure that more information is available in our schools.

“It will raise awareness of what help is available for anyone struggling, and will ensure that our education staff are equipped to deal with any mental health concerns and support each other.

“The number of people experiencing mental health difficulties is on the rise, particularly with regards to anxiety and depression.

“It’s time we all took a stance and started encouraging people of all ages to start talking about mental health more openly so that people don’t suffer in silence.”