Mounting mental health problem

Pandemic accelerates mounting mental health problem. 

There are a lot of talks but not enough action regarding tackling the alarming increase in the number of children presenting with SEMH needs.

The ground is moving under our feet. Worse still, we do not yet understand what is causing it.

SEN departments are overloaded, and CAMHS is overwhelmed. Children are going without help.

The situation has been steadily worsening over the past two decades, with the pandemic accelerating the trend.

And there is no doubt that it will deteriorate more before it gets better.

Chart showing mental health problems among pupils

We must recognise that we have a problem, a big one!

Moreover, we can no longer bury our heads in the sand and hope everything will be OK. We must take action on a widescale basis before it is too late.

Applying superficial patches will not fix this! Now is the time to identify the root causes and attack the core of the problem.

Fundamental change is required.

Our current practices need review because they are not working!

The systems themselves are most certainly a part of the problem!

Some of the root causes could be:

Social media channels and online gaming platforms influence more and more children to live artificial and solitary lives.


Lack of person-to-person interaction and emotional connection due to increased reliance on technology.


Too much focus on academic achievement and not enough on whole child development.


A society that judges without first seeking to understand human differences.


Excessive use of destructive labels (deficit, disorder).

Figure it out written on a Rubik's Cube

Tackling the mounting mental health problem.

Many professional bodies have highlighted the mounting mental health problem, including EEF, UCL, and the BBC. Regular people are concerned. Many are speaking out!

Additional government funding is welcome and will provide a short-term patch. However, money is only part of the solution, a much deeper approach is necessary if we are to arrest the problem for the long game.

Everyone has been affected – teachers, children, mums and dads.

Now is the time to understand the causes and set about making change.

Time for change written on a wall

The consequences are rapidly emerging now!

Who knows what it will be like in the future if we continue to ignore them?

Perhaps the prediction made by the World Health Organisation will become a reality eight short years from now. I hope not!

“It is projected that, by 2030, mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally.”

That is not a future we want for ourselves or our children.

You may also like this post about why the SENCo is so vital, especially now!

Is Low Self-Esteem Affecting Your Child's Potential?

Find out with our free 5-minute check

(For teacher and parent use)

Helping Children Flourish

Gav Devereux

Author bio

Being diagnosed with dyslexia, labelled remedial, and regularly told that I was a “stupid boy” affected my self-esteem.

Worse still, I carried low self-worth into my adult life. Yet, later, when I learned how to challenge my destructive mindset, I began to feel happier.

I thought, if I can change my way of thinking, anyone can!

And so, in 1996 I founded Mindscreen and began developing resources to help children to believe in themselves and go after their dreams.

That’s how the Mindscreen experience® came into being. I hope it helps your children as much as it has helped me!