Young London SOS: Teachers trained to spot danger signs in post-lockdown teenagers


Julia Harrington, head of the £25,000- a-year Queen Anne’s school in Caversham, said teenagers’ brains have been worst affected by the pandemic and lockdown because they are at a crucial stage of development.

Teachers should look out for pupils who are distancing themselves from friends, becoming unusually quiet or losing concentration, she said, because if problems are not dealt with early they can become embedded and last into adulthood.

Her initiative comes as our Young London SOS campaign highlights the mental health crisis that has hit young people.

Called Brain Can Do, her educational neuroscience and cognitive psychology research centre specialises in understanding the adolescent brain.

She has launched a Covid-anxiety workshop to help teachers spot signs of worry and nerves in teenagers and explain what is happening in their brains.

The centre has already carried out research into the impact of music on the brain and how later lie-ins for teenagers can help their well-being and academic performance.

Mrs Harrington said: “Adolescence is a period of brain development when the brain is more vulnerable to mental health issues. Moving parts break — and that is why the anxiety that adolescents have experienced during Covid has had an impact.



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