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A childish panic about the next generation. Many of those fretting over the state of contemporary childhood, concerned that kids are passive, cooped up and sedentary, are motivated by nostalgia - sometimes even by snobbery.

By Helene Guldberg (Click to continue reading)
 
 
Prescriptions given to children for depression quadruples in decade. The number of prescriptions given to children aged under 16 for depression and other mental health diagnoses has quadrupled in a decade, according to official figures.
By Angela Hussain (Click here to continue reading)
 
Standing Without Shoes (Book)
Creating happiness, relieving depression, enhancing life. Standing Without Shoes has a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This popular Australian self-help book promotes a solution focused approach to improving wellbeing.  Helen Street and her co-author George Burns discuss the need to improve our understanding of our own path to happiness as a means to preventing and treating depression. (Click here to read a review of this book)
 
 
 

 

Why evaluate? Why mental health assessment is so important.

B-WISE

All too often we hear about the increasing rates of depression and anxiety within modern western society. We read increasingly numbers of articles telling us about the growing number of children and adolescents with behavioural problems, emotional problems and social problems. In the fast paced 21st century parents and teachers across the world increasingly recognise the importance of developing optimal mental health and resilience among all our children.

In line with these concerns schools are spending increasing amounts of time and energy on mental health programs and interventions. The problem remains one of assessment and evaluation. The large proportion of these programs have never been formally evaluated or assessed in any way. We would never rely on hearsay or anecdotal evidence to assess the literacy and numeracy levels of our youngest generation, and yet so often we accept nothing more that the opinions of others when it comes to assessing mental health.

Experienced teachers understand the dangers of relying on unsubstantiated information to judge something as important as our children's happiness. Anecdotal feedback is useful but cannot be relied on to assess wellbeing or prevent distress. British WISE (Wellbeing In Schools Evaluation) is a valid and reliable social and psychological evaluation service for schools. It is a service that is effective, which works because it relies on hard data, statistical findings and never on speculation or the well-meaning comments of others. Hard data cannot be argued with, rather it can be used to objectively and positively reduce distress and improve wellbeing in ALL children in a school environment.

At last we are able to use a genuinely affordable evaluation program that is valid, reliable and sustainable. The program has been designed with an understanding of the limited resources and time pressures on teaching staff to-day. In addition to a full statistical analyses, staff and parents are provided with a clear, easy-to-read reports exploring wellbeing and mental health within their school. All measures used are reliable and well-validated. Information is vital for the progression and development of good schooling; it also provides hard-working teachers with reliable and validating feedback.

A spiral of evaluation and wellbeing

 

Evaluation leads to increased awareness and understanding of mental health. This in turn allows schools to develop and implement optimal wellbeing promotion and mental illness prevention programs.

Effective programs lead to improved wellbeing and reduced psychological distress. These improvements when regularly evaluated result in and upwards spiral towards healthy happy living for all. British WISE affords schools the opportunity to find out if their mental health programs and interventions are making a positive, significant difference, and if that difference is sustainable. I am writing to you in faith that you are acutely aware of the need to find a way to regularly evaluate and assess mental health in all students in your school. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely

Helen Street