EdTech Voice Notes | Wellbeing in the Post Pandemic

Welcome to the third episode in the second series of EdTech VoiceNotes; the podcast of the EdTech Summit.

In this episode of the EdTech Voice Notes we had the pleasure to catch up with Michelle Jayman, Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Psychology at the University of Roehampton and co-convener for the British Educational Research Association; Bronach Hughes, Pyramid Project Coordinator at University of West London and Safeguarding Trainer for Girlguiding UK; Phil Tottman, Co-Founder and Director of Development at Book of Beasties.

We discussed how pandemic and lockdowns affected wellbeing for learners and educators and how the sector is reacting to the challenge. Our guests contributed to the recently published book Supporting New Digital Natives - Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in a Hi-Tech Age.

Listen to the full episode here:

 

Listen On Your Favourite Podcast Provider

Spotify | Apple | Amazon

To hear more from our podcast guests, alongside others leading in delivering effective digital and technology-focused solutions for education, secure your free pass to the EdTech Summit, taking place online on the 17-18th November 2021.

Transcript:

Alessandro Bilotta 00:04

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the third episode of the second series of EdTech Voice Notes. Today's episode is going to discuss one of the most pressing topics if not the most pressing topic currently in the educational sector; Wellbeing. What measures can education institutions put in place to improve mental health conditions and prevent crisis situations? Our guests today have contributed to a book just recently published; Supporting New Digital Natives - Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing in a High Tech Age. I would like to start with a quick round of presentations before we dive in. Michelle, Bronach, Phil?

 

Michelle Jayman 01:26

Thanks Alessandro. My name is Michelle Jayman and I work for the Department of Psychology at the University of Roehampton as a lecturer and researcher. I'm also a co convener for the British Educational Research Association, mental health well being an education special interest group, and I'm a champion for the British Psychological Society education section. So that probably gives you a good idea about my interests. My research focuses on mental health and wellbeing in educational settings, and interventions to support children and young people. I'm also very interested in the relationship between technology and well being, which is of course highly topical at the moment, given how reliant we have all had to be on digital technologies over the past 18 months.

 

Bronach Hughes 02:10

Hello, my name is Bronach Hughes. I work at the University of West London where I run the Pyramid Project, which is a mental health intervention for children aged seven to 14 that's delivered through schools; primary schools and secondary schools. I've been involved in Pyramid for 20 years now. First in the voluntary sector and more recently at the university. Outside of work, I'm a volunteer for Girlguiding UK running units for brownies and guides, as well as training other volunteers in issues like safeguarding and inclusion. And on top of that, I'm also a school governor at a junior school that takes pupils aged seven to 11. So I regularly see mental health issues for a range of perspectives. And most importantly, I get to work with children and young people themselves on a regular basis. So that gives you a bit of an idea of my background.

 

Phil Tottman 03:04

Hi there. My name is Phil and I'm the co founder and director of development at book of beasties, we create mental health and wellness and social emotional learning resources for schools and parents that use playful learning creativity and storytelling to raise a child's emotional literacy, build empathy and encourage the open and positive conversation about well being. Our core resource which is the topic of one of the chapters in the book, book of beasties is the mental wellness car game and is currently being used in around 300 Uk schools supporting 10s of 1000s of children with their mental health is also used in the healthcare and social care sectors by some leading organisations such as change go live, Tŷ Hafan Children's Hospice, which is in Wales and Great Ormond Street who are our partners.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 03:56

Well, thank you guests for being with us today. I would start with the first question with you, Michelle, how would you like to present this book, especially in the context of the series of lockdown that education sector went through? And what you mentioned before about role that technology can play in affecting maybe mental health and relieving some of the anxiety associated with it, if used correctly?

 

Michelle Jayman 04:26

Well, that's an interesting question. When we first had the idea of the book, there was a lot of discussion and conflicting research about children and young people's highly digitalized nights. And the effects of this, especially around mental health and well being against a backdrop of escalating rates of poor mental health and diminished well being.

Our focus was on highlighting some of the great work that was going on in schools and communities to help prevent problems arising in the first place. And also to support those currently experiencing difficulties. Of course, we can Not have predicted the seismic shift in everyone's reliance on technology during periods of enforced lockdown, which occurred just a short time later, while you know, during the process of writing the book, so for children and young people, technology became their gateway to learning and staying connected with friends and the world outside their own home.

So took on, you know, an even greater resonance. And with the book, we wanted to move away from arguments about whether technology is good or bad. And really unpick the centrality of digital technologies in different aspects of children's lives. And to consider how those unique affordances of technology could be harnessed to enhance wellbeing and protect mental health.

And crucially, another aspect, which was really important to us was to look at how children and young people themselves contribute to developing solutions to support their own mentally healthy lives. And many of these, of course, are centred around digital technologies.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 06:03

The book focuses primarily on well being from a learners perspective, but just wanted to briefly discuss with you the staff and educators perspective. We know that the sector has lived a retention crisis for quite a long time. Most of it affected by workload, actually. How do you think this pandemic has affected retention? Are we going to experience our retention crisis 2.0? Do you think there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the profession?

 

Michelle Jayman 06:42

Well, that's that's quite a question is there light at the end of the tunnel? And Well, certainly, as someone working in education, I'm acutely aware of the mental health and well being crisis among staff across the sector. Again, pre pandemic, these problems existed. And during the early days of lockdown, many staff were really struggling with a sudden shift to online teaching and learning. They felt ill prepared, they felt poorly trained to cope with it, and unsupported. And alongside this, they were having to deal with all the effects of the pandemic, on their personal lives.

Educators take a huge burden of responsibility for the well being of their students. And that's whether they're young children or adults in higher education. And without adequate and appropriate support themselves, this is often to the detriment of their own well being. So it was a perfect storm really. Now the education staff well being well, being charter was recently launched by the Department of Education. And this applies to all schools and colleges in England. And it's a declaration of support for and a set of commitments to wellbeing and mental health, which was co created by the DFE's expert group on staff wellbeing, which included Ofsted and the teaching unions.

Schools and colleges are invited to sign up to the charter. So it will be really interesting to see the response from institutions. And of course, moreover, when the charter is reviewed in 2023, whether a positive impact can be evidence, of course we can't wait till till then. So in the meantime, all education staff, including those in universities, of course, will need sustained high quality support in their workplace. And they really should be prioritising self care to protect their own well being. So they're equipped for the challenges of another academic year like no other.

I'd really like to think that we've learned from the pandemic in terms of how we can use the technology, which was quite scary for many of us to start with, but to use it to implement smarter working practices to really alleviate some of the workload. Now, that is, you know, that there is scope there. And I really see continued growth in blended learning models as part of this moving forward.

But what's really needed I think, is a cultural shift, which truly values and support staff working in education, recognising that without them, the whole system would implode. So we must move away from notions of individual resilience towards a culture of collective responsibility for the mental well being of all members of our learning communities. And this I fear is still a way off.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 09:28

I mean, you're right. Charter is definitely a great initiative from the Department for Education. And this is something that we will discuss the Schools and Academies Show at the EdTech Summit in November. And definitely I agree with you that technology could relieve workload.

If I think of the EdTech strategy that the DFE presented at the schools and academies show in 2019. In London, there was one of the points that the EdTech should have achieved relieving admin tasks from the from the teaching staff. And probably Yeah, it's a cultural change a cultural shift, and just hope that one of the learnings from the pandemic would actually be, we know we need to do it now, we actually have to, and because we know how to.

So yeah, I really, really hope that things will get better for the sector. But definitely, I think these conversations are useful so that we can get more people on board with the understanding of the positive role that technology can play, not just on teaching and learning, but on the admin side of things and workload. Thank you very much for that.

I would like to come to you, Bronach. Now, you have been as you said, during your presentation, you've been working closely with schools in supporting children's mental health interventions. You mentioned the pyramid clubs project, what can you tell us about this project? And also, as a governor, in a school, what has been your experience, pre pandemic & during the pandemic. What's been the role of governors on Wellbeing in schools?

 

Bronach Hughes 11:13

Thanks, Alessandra, if you don't mind? I'll take that last question first, because it fits neatly with some of the things that Michelle has been saying. I think most governors are very aware that it's been such a stressful time for school staff, and governors have done their best to try and support school staff.

But realistically, there wasn't a huge amount we could do except say, How are things? Can we do anything to help and you're doing a fantastic job. In my role, as a governor, I had to deal with some complaints or some unhappiness from parents who were struggling with the home learning or didn't feel their schools were doing enough. But actually, the schools really quickly got their act together. And although in the first lockdown, which which none of us, none of us had any idea going into that lockdown. But we would. So many children wouldn't return to school for nearly six months. It was a real shock.

I think for a lot of teachers and other staff in school, the thought of recording lessons or delivering live lessons online, it was just it was just something so completely outside of their experience. And governors, I think I've tried to support their schools too. So we understand that and you need some support with that you need support with your own mental health. And as Michelle said, the worry about their own families and their own health. Sometimes that got in the way. And we had to deal with that. And at the same time keeping our focus on children and children's learning. So I think at the end of it, school staff have come out, far better equipped at using technology and actually, it's made its way into everyday life.

So things like running meetings online for parents and for children. Having more confidence in using technology to to demonstrate what the school can do, and to deliver school, that's been really important. And our governors meetings are still virtual for most of us at the moment. So governors have had to try and support a school and hold the school to account while not actually being able to go into school to see what's going on. But I've taken part in some of the homeschool assemblies.

It's just been amazing to see how quickly staff have adapted. But it has had a huge impact. And it will be interesting to see how many teachers leave the profession and and support staff leave the profession sooner than they would have done. So that's my answer as far as governors are concerned, but thinking about pyramid clubs, and they've been around for a very long time since the 1980s. In fact, and the people who set them up, all were very clear from the start that we wanted to do something that there was a solid evidence base for and some sort of underpinning theory or philosophy.

So we've always been interested in research and Michelle has has carried out some research into pyramid clubs herself. And the research asks two very important questions. Do the pyramid clubs work? And the answer to that is yes, we know that both a primary level and its secondary level. But the other question is, why do they work? And that's a really important question, because it allows us to see where we can adapt the programme and which aspects of the programme are fundamental to making a difference to children's lives. And that that's been really important because children's lives are changing in any way due to increased use of technology. And then we've had the pandemic on top of that. So we need to be very clear what's core to delivering good mental health for children. And which bits we can, we can tinker with or we could do differently.

I think one of the things that we realised quite quickly we couldn't do is it's very difficult to do group work interventions, virtually with children who don't know each other. So we haven't been doing that. But primary clubs generally run as an after school Club, which helps to reduce the stigma around them. And they run once a week for an hour and a half for 10 weeks. And they deliver by volunteers such as our students at the University and another university I worked with, or they delivered by paid staff in the school or sometimes other organisations like Bernardos and Sue deliver them in Northern Ireland. So they've run in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and I've lost count hundreds, but Well, certainly, high 10s of 1000s of children will have benefited from them in the 40 years they've been around.

The children we target have a shy, quiet, anxious children who often struggle with friendships. And they come from all sorts of backgrounds. So while some are doing well, academically, others struggle in school. But the aim of the clubs is to help them develop better coping skills, and in the process, improve their confidence and self esteem, as well as helping them find friends.

So what does the pyramid club actually look like? Well, first of all, they're nothing like going to a clinic to see a mental health specialist on a one to one basis, though, fun, safe spaces where children get to make friends and explore the issues that are troubling them. And we do that through games, sharing food, art, and craft activities, and circle time. I think the training for club leaders is really essential. Because you can support children's mental health by following a standard recipe, what you need to do is to have a manual that offers you an understanding and to how things work. And then you can adjust your approach to the specific children you have in your group. But I should also add that they're great fun for the club leaders, as well as having a huge impact on children's mental health. So I hope that gives you some idea of what a pyramid club is all about.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 17:12

These are definitely great initiatives. And as you pointed out, they work it's been proven. So I think of all the kids that are just given now the tools to cope with anxiety and stress in their present and potentially when needed in the future as well. But beyond this, you also have experience in the eagle guiding movement. So that was fascinating to me to think of the role that society plays in helping children's mental health and well being. How is it been in the past 18 months? What changes have you seen?

 

Bronach Hughes 17:59

Well, the last 18 months has certainly been very interesting and very challenging for those of us working with children. Many Girlguiding units moved on to virtual platforms such as zoom or Facebook Live. And my experience was pretty mixed. Most groups find it work well. And children and their parents were very happy to have those meetings each week, because they provided a structure and some reprieve from what was during what was a very, very negative time for everyone.

I think it probably worked best where the leaders were confident and positive about the technology, and why the group already knew each other quite well. Although interestingly, once the schools got their act together, and we're delivering most learning online attendance at the Girlguiding meetings on on virtual platforms tended to fall off a bit. And I think that demonstrates that there's only so much digital input that children can cope with.

I think sometimes adults think children want to do everything digitally. And that's not true. And it's definitely harder if the relationships weren't already in place. Some groups didn't meet online, but they kept in touch by email or very old fashioned letters. Many of us got lots of exercise. Welcome Ryan to houses to drop off our activities to the local rainbows and brownies and guides. I think if you asked most volunteer youth workers, whether they were supporting mental health, they might be quite taken aback by the question.

They'd probably say that they're offering children opportunities to do things they might not get to do otherwise. And they're teaching them new skills, and providing a safe space for them to develop friendships. And they might not see that as supporting children's mental health. But that's exactly what children do need to support their mental health. When I talk to colleagues and Girlguiding. Many are really pleased when I say that they're providing mental health support through the traditional activities that Girlguiding has always encouraged, especially that love of doing things in groups, and the idea of doors, being of service to their community and protecting the environment.

These are things we've done for years and years. And now we feel well now we know that those are exactly the sorts of things that do support children's mental health. And I think it's especially important for girls, given the additional pressures on them from social media. And from a male dominated society, it's really important for them to have a safe space to feel accepted, as that allows them to explore who they are, and what's important to them. Most other activities they do are have boys there as well. So it is it is important sometimes, that girls have that space so they can support each other.

And they can test out things that they might not be confident doing in front of a more mixed group. And although I've written the chapter by Girlguiding, because that's what I know really well, I'm sure there are many similar organisations, working in the community through faith groups, skating, which which takes boys and girls. But lots and lots of community organisations out there, who are also providing vital mental health support to children, young people, even if that's not in their job description. That's actually what they're doing.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 21:24

Yeah, I definitely think that you raised a great point here about the the balance between the face to face, the traditional learning and the online learning. In the book, there is a chapter about the effects of online learning on well being.

So now we have schools reopening and society moving out of this lockdown small, always what the situation was pre pandemic, institutions have the intention of moving towards a hybrid blended form of learning, what lessons can be then learned from the pandemic, would a mix of the two be sustainable in the context of the social digital divide, that we have witnessed being widely present in the society? 

 

Michelle Jayman 22:10

Well, as I touched on earlier, I really see hybrid and blended learning models at the centre really at the centre of the future educational landscape, we can't, we can't put the genie back in the box. And online learning, it's been around it was a long there a long time before the pandemic in some capacity, especially within higher education, but of course, with lockdown restrictions, it really accelerated the pace of change to a really unprecedented degree.

And this, it wasn't a smooth process. And one thing that the research shows and systematic analysis research from pre pandemic about doing a shift to more online learning practices and blended learning practices showed that in order for it to be successful, and to be really effective, it requires careful planning, and consultation. And that's with all stakeholders, as well as proper training and support for teaching staff. Because, you know, delivering online is completely different to the learning environment that you have in a face to face scenario.

So some, that was something we didn't have the luxury of in the wake of COVID. and removing the physical classroom presents all sorts of new challenges for teachers and learners alike. And of course, that is going to vary depending on the age and the ability of the learners. And adapting to this totally different environment does have an impact on wellbeing. And for some learners, you know, it's a positive change. And there is research to suggest the huge benefits of online learning. There's greater flexibility, there's greater autonomy. And we are seeing in just this, you know, this new academic year, there's a lot more sort of distance learning opportunities, particularly, you know, in in postgraduate study, for example, but so, you know, there's, there's a mix of things going on here.

But there is also we have to be very mindful. You know, this can be a positive change for some learners, but it's about really taking the time doing the research, what works, what, what, what do we have to be wary of, because it can have a, an, an a negative impact for some learners, and we've seen how, particularly in extended periods of lockdown, heightened feelings of socialisation, for example for some learners, increased heightened anxiety and one thing that you taught Which one which is so important, and that has really come to the fore during the, during the pandemic, is about the unequal access to digital technologies, and reliable Wi Fi. And this has been a great source of stress for many students and their families during lockdown. So the pandemic really highlighted this, this digital divide that, you know, we hear a lot about and discuss a lot about, and the impact that this has on learning and progress.

And this is something that, you know, educators we're having to deal with. Now, we've talked about sort of the catch up plan, but we really need to tackle this type of systemic inequality. And it really has to be a priority as we move beyond the pandemic, if we are going to harness the, you know, the true potential of technology, and embed that in education, but you know, for equal access, access for all, and that, that that's something which is, which is a major challenge that we really do need to address.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 26:00

Absolutely. And as you mentioned before, with the well being charter, closing the social digital divide, will take years, a great amount of resources. But it is an issue that we need to deal with now, as well in the current presence, or what short term measures can be put in place to avoid unequal access to technology Bronach.

In your opinion, if we go back to the role of schools, how do you think they can dissolve the stigma around mental health so that children can develop into mental health and well being conscious adults?

 

Bronach Hughes 26:38

I think what's really encouraging these days is just how little stigma there is when you speak to children and young people themselves. When we first talked about setting up permit clubs and secondary school, I was convinced that no one of the age of 11 to 14 would willingly turn up at a club that was addressing mental health needs.

But I was really pleasantly surprised to find that they had less of a problem with it than I did. I think the reduction in stigma is come about for a number of reasons. There are lots of really good role models from Sports and music and performance, who've spoken very openly about their own mental health issues. And what it was that helped them with those problems. And what they've demonstrated is that you can recover from mental health problems, they're not a death sentence.

And these often be communicated using digital technology on YouTube and tick tock and Instagram. So they show a very positive side of using technology to support mental health. I think many young people as well as wanting to be physically fit and looking good. They also want to build their confidence and their self esteem. And they're willing to accept support that will help them to do that. And that's the sort of language we use by permit clubs. It's about confidence and self esteem. And who wouldn't want more of those.

And then alongside that, many schools have been doing lots of really good work around mental health, that's helping to normalise the fact that sometimes people don't feel great, and they do need support. And that's okay. One of the big slogans you might hear is, it's okay to not be okay. Which is far, far better than a previous attitude that encouraged people to just bottle things up and get on with it and not embarrass other people by talking about their depression or their anxiety.

Many skills, and I have seen your mental health leads, who are finally being offered government funded training and that role, and the new relationships and sex education curriculum also covers issues to do with mental health. And of course, not all school staff feel entirely comfortable about talking, talking about mental health. But now violence is moving far more in favour of those who do feel comfortable having those conversations, and who understand how key or role they can have, what difference they can make in children's mental health. I've been talking about things makes them far less scary, far less shameful, and results and less stigma. And clearly, we have some way to go. But personally, I think that we adults have more of an issue with stigma than many of the young people do.

And I think sometimes parents especially can't bear to think that their child might be suffering from depression or anxiety, or an eating disorder. And sometimes that attitude can interfere with the school's ability to offer support. But things are improving, and I think the stigma is reducing, which hopefully means that the current generation of children will take that with them into their adulthood, and they'll be more able to support their own children when the time comes.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 29:50

Absolutely. It's about preparing this new generation of people who in their adulthood would be comfortable in dealing with mental health. issues. But if we think of the current population of young adults, Michelle, what would you identify as the main consequences of lockdown?

 

Michelle Jayman 30:14

Well, I think from many of the young people that I've been speaking to you and have spoken through over the course of the last 18 months or so that one of the main consequences at the height of the pandemic was increased anxiety, which in turn had an impact on many other aspects of their lives linked to well being.

So for example, developing poor sleeping and eating patterns. And this then affected motivation to learn and engaging in online lessons. And for many of those with pre existing conditions, they're not mental health deteriorated during lockdown, as it had reduced access to their usual formal and informal support networks. Some really welcomed the option of online provision. But this doesn't suit everyone.

And again, it's also reliant on good access to reliable technologies and a private space to talk openly. I would agree with as Brendan was saying about the openness to talk about our mental health and well being. And I see that in the young people at universities. So in that age bracket of sort of late teens to early 20s. And perhaps again, that is because of growing up with talking about things on social media hearing about people that they admire, talking about openly about their mental health and well being issues that encourages more debate, more conversation. And that's always a good thing. And we, we really want to encourage that.

And I think there was a lot of anxiety around particularly around learning and assessments, which ties in again, to how we adapt to different modes of delivery. And this, you know, exacerbated accessibility for those without reliable technology. So, young people experienced a lot, some, for the first time, a lot of anxiety around these these issues with assessments and keeping up with with with the workload, while at the same time trying to sort of manage motivation and, and staying connected.

Because of course, being at university is so much more than just the academics and the lack of opportunity for face to face, socialising and participating in sports and other activities had a really big impact on students physical as well as their social and emotional well being. And as we're just about to start a new academic year, I'm cautiously hopeful that will not have to endure the type of social restrictions imposed last year, which has had both short and long term implications for many young people. And we must be really mindful of this. And make sure that young people have access to the timely and appropriate support they need on an ongoing basis. Whether that is through online support that works for some young people, or more traditional face to face services. Now, we can do that once again.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 33:18

Feel, would you tell us more about buku beasties, what is it? How does it work? And where did the idea come from? 

 

Phil Tottman 33:27

The overall concept of the mental wellness car game is to create a de-stigmatised and non-marginalised environment for children to explore the topic of well being their own and others mental health and wellness throughout the use of a playful, creative environment driven by a narrative that the children can get immersed by making learning about what remains even today such a taboo topic more engaging, enjoyable, and in turn potentially more impactful than more traditional methods of intervention.

The game introduces beasties that represent different mental health concerns or collections of emotions that the children are tasked with helping using items that translate into simple wellness techniques and exercises was working through physical and creative activities, which helped to make what they learn more memorable and impactful. Myself and the team created book a beasties after experiencing mental ill health ourselves, and recognising a need for a more child first approach to mental health education in schools. We are keen advocates and play and using playful learning across all of the educational content we create

 

Alessandro Bilotta 34:41

In European feel, what's the margin for innovation in how we talk about and intervene on well being and mental health matters?

 

Phil Tottman 34:52

So I've recently looked quite deeply into what I think I have called ethical innovation in this space. ethical in the sense that I believe we should be using the kid's entertainment space even more for spreading positive messages, education and opportunities for growth, as this is where many children spend much of their time and consume the majority of their media other than in school.

A one size fits all approach to such things as mental health education simply is not good enough. That is one of the reasons we're still seeing a growing crisis amongst young people. When it comes to innovation, there is a huge margin for improvement experiences, or interventions need to be tailored, or at least be designed to have the capacity to be tailored to an individual child's needs.

And once you have to think about so many different things such as developmental stage, likes and dislikes, familial situations, current culture, different cultures, those kinds of things. But creators also need to be aware of the child's engagement levels, will they enjoy using it? Is it something they would want to use over and over? Is there a good balance between the entertainment factor and the educational one, it's not a simple task to take all of these things into consideration. And admittedly, sometimes you simply can't cover everything.

But when done well, and thought put into it, the impact can be really great. There is some really good ethical innovation going on in some in this space with some brilliant developers and creators out there such as blue otter games, who produce fantastic educational games, and Nora Henry Elaine, who expertly tackles race in her books like Jojo and gran gran. But in terms of mental health, there is unfortunately very little and not much innovation, I suppose, going on in this space. Other than Booker beasties, of course.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 36:55

So we've come to the end of our conversation today. Michelle, Rona, is there anything else you would like to add? Well,

 

Michelle Jayman 37:04

I think one thing I'd like to say is, as a final message is that we do need to be optimistic. There is a lot of great work going on in schools and communities to support children, young people's mental health and well being as we have showcased showcased in the book. But the demand is great. And services are overstretched as the numbers of children, young people with more serious difficulties continue to rise. This is a huge challenge. And crucially, what we must do is we must be more proactive and give early interventions the attention priority and of course, the funding that they deserve.

 

Bronach Hughes 37:43

Thanks, Alessandra, it's been really it's been a really interesting conversation. I think the only thing I'd want to add is something around early intervention. So as professionals who work with children, young people, we need to keep talking about mental health, to keep it high on everyone's agenda. And particularly, we need to be calling for early intervention to support children, so that their problems get dealt with quickly. And before they get to crisis point. And we all know the NHS is under pressure. And there's a shortage of funding across the board, post COVID.

But there are lots of other ways of supporting children's mental health, if we look at schools in the community. And these other interventions are often cheaper, more readily available, and more sustainable in the long term, then sending a child off to a professional psychologist, psychiatrist, as part of the health service. However, all of these, all of these interventions need some level of investment to keep them going. There are some costs attached to them. And that cost needs to be met by government or local authorities, who really do prioritise children's mental health, for the sake of those children today, and also for the future adults, they'll become.

 

Alessandro Bilotta 39:01

I think it was a brilliant conversation. Thank you very much to all of our guests. Thank you, Michelle. Thank you, brona. And thank you, Phil. Until next time, bye.

 

Michelle Jayman 39:11

Thanks, Alessandra. It's been great. Bye.

 

Bronach Hughes 39:14

Thank you, Alessandra, and Michelle and Phil as well. And yes, thank Thanks for letting us take part of this. Bye