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Should teachers be trained to identify mental health issues?

This week MPs heard that schools may not need specialist staff to identify mental health issues, as reported by TES. 

Coming after the children's commissioner's recommendation that all schools offer professional counselling, experts warned that counselling in schools would not necessarily increase access to specialist mental health care. In the case of specific mental health disorders, according to Professor Peter Fonagy, counsellors would need to refer pupils to specialist services. 

The deputy director of the Department of Health, Claire Bethel, suggested that this 'signposting' role could be filled by other members of staff - like teachers - who had received appropriate training. Some MPs, though, are worried this could add to teachers' already substantial workloads. 

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