Why use DEAL?

Developing the skills and understanding raised in DEAL can help reduce mental health issues and stigma, increase empathy and help young people develop effective ways of coping.

Research shows there is a strong link between pupil's social and emotional functioning, and academic achievement. Children with good emotional wellbeing make good progress in primary school and are engaged in secondary school The Good Childhood Report 2015 (The Children’s Society) shows that while most children are happy with their lives as a whole, around one in 14 (7%), is not.

There is evidence that many young people possess negative attitudes towards mental health difficulties among peers and find it difficult to tell others about their emotional problems

In a 2010 YoungMinds survey of 9-25 year olds, nearly half (47%) said it was easier to tell someone if they didn’t feel physically well, compared to feeling “distressed” or mentally unwell. 22% said they wouldn’t know where to go to get help for a mental illness. Just over half (52%) of children and young people had heard friends/classmates call other people names when they were distressed, and 45% of respondents have been called names by their friends/ classmates when facing a hard time.

Over half (55%) believed young people have mental health problems because “they were born with them” and 22% believe mental illness is “something that can’t be cured and is with you forever.”

Coping Strategies and understanding

Young people often deal with personal mental health problems in unsophisticated > ways such as bottling them up, sleeping, drinking alcohol or simply hoping they will go away.  Intervention through lessons can increase empathy, …an understanding as to how emotional difficulties develop and why some people think that life is not worth living.

How DEAL can help

DEAL is part of the PSHE Association’s Character Education toolkit. This is intended to support the development of character traits, attributes and behaviours within the context of planned PSHE lessons. These types of programmes can help communication skills, social skills, cooperation, resilience, a sense of optimism, empathy, a positive and realistic self-concept and problem solving skills (Promotion and education 2005 – International Union for Health Promotion and Education vol xII no 3-4).

Education can reduce  prejudice and stigma attached to help-seeking.

What teachers say about DEAL

What young people say about DEAL