An increase in mental health difficulties in children and adolescents has resulted in teachers being asked to act as frontline mental health professionals. Previous research investigated teacher involvement in the identification and management of pupils' mental health issues, but little is known about the lived experience of such teachers. This study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore the experiences of school staff working with pupils with mental health difficulties. Findings indicate that guidance teachers and support staff are emotionally affected by such activities and believe more time, training, a whole-school approach and access to a school-based counselling service are required to provide the optimum mental health service for pupils with mental health difficulties. Implications for practice are discussed.
- Pupils' mental health