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The statistics published by World Health Organisation show that 50 % of all mental disorders that lead to addictions, aggression, violence and other kinds of anti-social behaviour start in adolescence. Between 10% and 20% of young people suffer from problems with their mental health which, in many cases, may even lead to suicides. According to WHO, suicide is one of the five most frequent reasons of death among young people aged 15-19.

There are two goals of promoting and protecting young people’s health – to enhance their general health and wellbeing as well as taking care of the health and good condition of the future adults, parents and citizens. Specialists agree that the early years of a person’s life have a great impact on their mental health and cognitive, emotional and social life later on. Good mental health is the key to the optimal development of kids and adolescents, to their successful education, satisfying relationships with other people, taking care of their own health and being independent in their adult life. Protecting our students’ mental health is a necessary investment for their good future.

Not only is school the place where children get educated but it is also a very important environment that influences the emotional and social development of a young person. It is here where kids and teenagers make friends and learn how to co-exist in a social group. It is here where they can find role models different from these observed at their own homes. Influenced by school experiences students consolidate or verify their image of the world, of other people and of themselves.  That is why it is essential for school to promote and protect students’ health in its every aspect. Unfortunately, schools on every level seem to neglect the issue of students’ mental health. There are a lot of activities, programs, workshops that educate students about the importance of a healthy diet, physical activity, prevention of different illnesses like cancer and others but little is being done about young people’s mental health. The older students get the less attention is paid to their education in this area, probably it is assumed that they already know everything. However, it is quite the contrary. The older they get, the more risk factors there are around them and the more help from us they need. High school students are surrounded by risk factors all the time. The educational programs get more and more difficult, they are supposed to decide about their future even if they might not be sure what they really want, they have complicated relationships with their peers, they are often victims of aggression (especially verbal one), they experience their first loves, happy or unhappy ones, they may find it hard to get on with their parents, they are tempted by the material world which offers them a lot of easy but costly pleasures, they live in virtual world of social networking sites which make it hard for them to face reality. We could make this list a lot longer. At the same time schools concentrate on the results, test, exams, school curricula. No action is taken to support students fight the risks, deal with problems and stresses of their everyday student life.  Some schools do not even have school counsellors, not to mention psychologist. Sadly, young people’s mental wellbeing is ignored and neglected.


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