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Title: How can young people, aged 14-16 years with mental health problems, be better supported in mainstream education?
Author: Hart, Tania Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 0869
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2016
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Although research suggests that learning and well-being are synergistic there is a lack of research focusing on the school experiences of children with intrinsic mental health problems. The aim of this research was to explore how these children perceived they could be better supported at school. The additional perspectives of their parents and teachers gave further insight into their worlds. The research objective was to examine how schools and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) could strengthen their assistance. A qualitative design was used, underpinned by a social constructionist theoretical framework. Fourteen children were recruited via CAMHS. Children, parents and teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings indicated, to thrive emotionally and academically, these children needed to feel they belonged at school. This was pre-requisite to accepting enhanced individualised support. A sense of belonging was only apparent when the child was free from victimisation (bullying, discrimination and stigmatisation) and had good peer and teacher relationships. Belonging was promoted by increasing the child’s emotional security, which was enhanced by promoting teacher mental health knowledge, nurturing teacher and peer relationships and sensitively ensuring disclosure and confidentiality. When the children accepted assistance, they valued support that empowered them to cope resiliently at school. For example, practical one-to-one teacher help and CAMHS assistance in deciding what personal information should be shared with the school, along with emotional help with school problems. In conclusion, schools must promote a safe caring ethos, whereby emotionally literate teachers balance child well-being with attainment goals. Schools and CAMHS should tackle school distress and promote child resilience together. Presently, a lack of resource and time can prevent this, so more directives and mechanisms are needed. At the heart of this planning should be the child’s voice, as presently support is predominantly adult driven.
Supervisor: O'Reilly, Michelle ; Vostanis, Panos Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available