A school in one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas is training parents, pupils and staff in how to cope with stress.  As part of the pilot, all S4 pupils at St Paul’s High School in Pollok were assessed before the programme began. About 40% showed high levels of anxiety and depression, well above the national average. This dropped to about 20% by the end of the programme which aims to intervene early to prevent longer-term problems. Across Scotland, one in 10 adults is currently being prescribed an antidepressant.  Almost half of all adults with mental health problems developed them before they left school. During the pilot programme, teachers were trained in how to run the course and a night class was offered to parents and relatives. It was run by clinical psychologist Dr Jim White, who has delivered similar schemes for adults within the NHS. He said that he wanted to run a programme for teenagers in a bid to prevent more serious problems from developing in later life. “We were a bit surprised at just how many of the pupils were showing signs of difficulties with both anxiety and depression, about four out of 10 of them at the start of the programme. “Now by the end of the programme, we had halved that. “But when we followed them up nine months later we were seeing that they were still continuing to improve, so there was a suggestion that the pupils had learned all about stress management and in the months after the class had put it into practice.” Dr White said if early intervention was not taken, there could be “life-long consequences”.He added: “If we are able to get in quickly, then we might be able to stop those quite significant problems.” St Paul’s plans to continue and develop the pilot because they believe it has been so successful. Glasgow City Council said it planned to see if other schools could benefit.

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