THE principal of Drumragh Integrated College has this week spoken out about the national ‘epidemic’ of rising anxiety levels among students.
Voicing his concerns about the lack of government funding for mental health services within Northern Ireland, head teacher Nigel Frith says that investment in preventative measures are vitally required before a young person hits crisis point.
The school’s current drive to promote positive mental health has seen its Parents’ Council apply for funding in the hopes of running workshops and seminars to empower parents whose children are struggling with negative mental health.
However Mr Frith said that while the school works hard to create a safe environment where young people can talk about their feelings, worries and problems, they ‘can only do so much on their own’.
In December 2016, the school mourned the sudden death of former pupil, 18-year-old Clare McSorley from Killyclogher. Then sadly in April this year, Drumragh Integrated College suffered another tragic loss, when Elle Trowbridge – a Year 12 pupil at the school – died suddenly.
“What we’ve seen over the last five years is that levels of anxiety in young people are rising and rising,” Mr Frith told the UH. “And what we are finding is that so many young people are beginning to almost live their lives on a cliff edge.”