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A child's right to healthcare states 'that it’s every child’s right to have the best health care possible'. This includes mental healthcare as well as physical healthcare. Unfortunately, not every child has access to that. One of the main places that lacks mental healthcare are schools.
In my opinion, support in schools is extremely weak and doesn’t give the right help that children need. Most mental health care in schools is more focused on exam stress and career guidance, obviously this is important but there are also other problems like troubles at home, troubles with friends, bullying, etc. Every school has an anti-bullying policy, even though most schools address the bullying, people end up moving schools, getting depressed, being suicidal, etc. This just shows that the right help is not put in place.
As I was saying earlier schools focus on exam stress more than any other problem, I think this is really shown in the way that there isn’t a lot of focus given on first and second years in secondary school. These two years can be some of the hardest years in children’s school experience with the massive shift from primary to secondary school. First-year was extremely hard for me and I never felt like I was able to talk to anyone in the school and I never felt comfortable talking to my parents either. I think that especially the fifth and sixth year being such important years leading towards the leaving cert that it puts a lot of the attention on those years.
I think that there needs to be a change in mental healthcare in schools.