Written Evidence to the All-Party Group on Mental Health

At the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Mental Health Champion for NI submitted evidence to the All-Party Group on Mental Health for an inquiry into Mental Health Education and Early Intervention in Schools. 

Professor O'Neill stresses the need for a trauma-informed approach to the delivery of Education in Northern Ireland, and a system that values emotional intelligence and critical thinking. She put forward two recommendations to the All-Party Group:

  1. The current programmes that provide additional support to young people in the school setting need to be maintained, and the Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Schools Framework needs to be funded in full and consistently implemented in all schools.
  2. Reiterating a call from the Commissioner for Children and Young People, she advised that equal emphasis should be placed on the measurement and improvement of the well-being of children and young people in education, as on academic attainment. Schools should be inspected by ETI on their ability to develop the conditions required to nurture young people’s well-being.