Supporting Students with Mental Illness
There are many types of mental illness, each of which has different symptoms and leads to problems in various aspects, including mental condition, thinking, social interaction, emotion and behaviour. Students with mental illness need treatment by the healthcare professionals. They are usually diagnosed by psychiatrists, and followed up by clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurses or medical social workers. Schools should play a complementary role in coping with the treatment and rehabilitation given by the healthcare professionals and provide on-campus support to the students according to their needs. In general, if teachers suspect that their students might have problems in mental health and require professional assessment and consultation, they should ask the professionals in school (e.g. school social worker) to communicate with the students concerned and their parents, and make referral to mental health professionals for support when necessary.
The EDB has also provided Learning Support Grant (LSG) to schools so that they could use the additional resources to strengthen their support for students with mental illness in the learning, social, emotional and behavioural aspects. Schools can use these resources to organise school-based training, such as gatekeeper training for teachers, parents and students to raise their awareness of mental health/ mental illness and equip them with the skills to identify and respond to students who require additional support. For details of LSG, please refer to the EDB Circular No. 6/2019.
Please click here for more information on supporting students with mental illness.