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School nurses in unique position on mental health

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The school nurse may be the first person that a young person chooses to speak to about mental health problems, according to mental health charity Time to Change.

A survey by the charity found that three-quarters of young people with mental health problems are missing out on education. Jenny Taylor, head of the children and young people's programme at Time to Change said that school nurses are in a 'unique position' in that they offer young people the chance to speak one-on-one in a confidential setting.

'They could be the first person a student decides to speak to about their mental health,' she said.

'But with such a wide remit of work it's essential we offer school nurses with as much practical information and advice on talking to young people about mental health as possible. This is why we have created lots of resources to help youth professionals talk about mental health and signpost to organisations that can offer further support.'

Time to Change is encouraging every secondary school in England to sign up to four weeks of activity, such as assembly sessions or classroom discussions on mental health, this November.

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