Latest News

Help teachers spot mental issues: Gillard

Teachers must be given more support to better understand mental health issues among their students, former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard says.

One in every seven children has some form of mental difficulty, Ms Gillard says.

Now chair of advocacy group Beyond Blue, she says the most profound mental health disorders tend to manifest between the ages of 14 and mid-20s.

"So it will be often a high school teacher that first notices that something is wrong," she told an economic conference in Canberra on Thursday.

"We think there is a huge opportunity in supporting teachers to better understand mental health issues and early warning signs, having the confidence and understanding where referrals should go to."

Resources and learning modules are available through Beyond Blue for educators to help teach resilience.

"I think schools are getting more thoughtful about resilience behaviour, mindfulness, anti-bullying behaviours, to enable young people to emerge from their informative years with strategies to cope when they inevitably counter stresses and strains in life," Ms Gillard said.

But she said there is a lot that is unknown about today's children and young people, particularly when it comes to new technologies, such as how much screen time and social media interactions is "enough".

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

© AAP 2019

If you have information on something happening near you or wish to contact the newroom use this link