AN AYRSHIRE mum whose son took his own life has joined a campaign to tackle the growing mental health crisis in schools.

Frances Beck, who is also a teacher, was left devastated when her son Conor took his own life earlier this year, after struggling with his own mental health. He was just 21.

Now Frances is backing the new ‘Make it Count’ campaign from the Mental Health Foundation Scotland which was launched this week.

Launching on World Mental Health Day, the new campaign calls for the Scottish Government to tackle the growing mental health crisis in schools, after new figures published today revealed that a quarter of Scottish parents say academic pressure is causing their children to feel stressed.

Frances, from Stewarton, said: “The most effective way of ensuring good mental health for all is to prevent poor mental health developing in the first place and improve early intervention when it does occur.

“Bullying, maltreatment, poverty, relationships and belonging are just a few factors that children and young people may face - this was the case for my son Conor.

“He, like myself, was bullied throughout his school life and I have no doubt he would have benefited from being educated about mental health and how to effectively cope with that stress.

“His story could have been so very different if he’d had that support at that key stage of his life. Had his mental health problems been prevented or had he had targeted early intervention support, it’s highly unlikely that he would have taken his own life.

“It’s really important that all teachers are effectively trained and are able to provide regular, quality mental health and wellbeing education. Heartbreakingly, none of this will bring back my son, but it will go a long way in ensuring that the lives of other young people are not so tragically ended.”

Latest statistics showed 8,000 children in Scotland with severe mental health problems were waiting to see a specialist in June 2018 with 2,116 waiting for more than 18 weeks. The Scottish Government announced more school-based counsellors and mental health first aid training for teachers, but the charity has called on the government to focus on prevention.