The nation’s mental health is again in the headlines as the press shine a spotlight on this year’s GCSE candidates. In Stress and Serious Anxiety: How the New GCSE is Affecting Mental Health (17th May 2018), The Guardian reported responses to their survey on the effects of the new tougher style exams on pupils, the more extreme of which included suicide attempts, breakdowns and severe panic attacks in exam halls.
Parallels for training sector
As we hear of schools introducing relaxation sessions and resilience programmes to combat the rising stress evidently experienced by many students, the parallels for us, as practitioners in the training sector, are obvious. How are apprentices and trainees faring, faced with the pressures not only of achieving qualifications but also of adapting to the demands of the workplace? In many cases, these young people are also dealing with the difficulties of modern society – family breakdown, poverty and pressures created through social media.
GMLPF has anecdotal evidence that many of its members are having to deal with mental health issues amongst their students – both recent school leavers and older individuals on their programmes. Depression and anxiety is commonplace and many providers are having to address increasingly frequent and complex mental health episodes presented by students on Apprenticeships, Study Programmes and AEB funding training. This has prompted GMLPF to undertake some initial research with its members to ascertain the extent of the issue, and to develop a programme of suitable support for both the students in Liverpool City Region’s work based learning sector, and the practitioners who support them.
A short survey will be sent to all members this month – please take the few minutes required to share your experiences and concerns.