I have been asked to forward this press release to you all  by a friend of mine Emily Polling.


Whilst recovering from a failed suicide attempt and severe nervous breakdown 27-year-old student, Emily Polling, from Seaford has founded a campaign to reform the UK Education system and demand better mental health care and wellbeing for students.


Please read the attached Press Release.


I am fully supporting this campaign as I suffered from depression whilst I was at school and college which went completely ignored which still affects me today.


Please give this as much exposure are you can.


Many Thanks,


Trevor Weeks MBE

“Stress is not a sustainable way of living”



Whilst recovering from a failed suicide attempt and severe nervous breakdown 27-year-old student, Emily Polling, from Seaford has founded a campaign to reform the UK Education system and demand better mental health care and wellbeing for students.


Bang the Desk is a grassroots campaign designed to change the way we educate our young people. There is far too much pressure on our children and young people to be at the top of their game before they have even had time to learn the rules.


Founder of Bang The Desk, Emily Polling, said: “Almost everyone I know suffers from anxiety and stress. I have sat with a large number of friends who have cried and cried because they don’t know what to do with their lives, because they were too pressured at 16 to make life altering subject choices, too stressed at 18 to do well at university and now feel they have made a mistake and don’t belong.”


“I myself suffered a breakdown at 18, and recently a really severe breakdown, culminating in a failed suicide attempt. I developed a serious stammer, I was taking regular sedatives just to get through day, I dropped out of my Master’s Degree and just collapsed. In short, I completely burnt out at 27. Each of these moments in my life were due to a number of factors, but the overriding issue was the suffocating pressure to succeed.”


“There are hundreds of reports showing how damaging stress is to young people, so my question is this: If we can statistically prove that young people are so affected by stress that they are at permanent breaking point, and sadly for many tipping point, why are we doing nothing to help?


We are desperately trying to fix our adults, but paying little attention to the fact that most adults have been steadily nurturing this level of stress from a young age. Enough is enough, it’s time to bang the desk and change the curriculum. Less pressure, less stress, more time to be young, more time to enjoy life and more time to experience the magic of learning.


Emily continued: “We are not running a Gestapo training programme for tiny CEO’s, we are educating young minds. We would all perform better, create better ideas, be more functional if we just removed the pressure. Learning should be an amazing experience, not a traumatic one.”


The curriculum needs to change. There needs to be more emphasis on wellbeing, more time for creativity, more time for nurture. Our education system is so deeply flawed that we are forcing young people to the extremes of desperation. Children are growing up to be suicidal teenagers and adults, because they simply cannot cope with years and years of pressure.


We need to start from the ground up, and ensure that our young people don’t just grow up to work, be stressed and die. That they grow up to be creative, happy, inspiring and free thinking.


Emily said: “I started Bang the Desk to help prevent anyone else going through what I did. We need to nurture young minds, not destroy them and our education system is working very hard at destroying them.”


“Since launching Bang The Desk I have been inundated with messages from people saying they understand and have felt the same unbearable pressure to succeed. One message the stood out the most, was from someone who had read the social media posts, realised they were not alone and had gone to seek professional help as a result.”


“I’m so thankful for all of the support, and for everyone helping me turn something extremely negative into something positive, not just for myself but hopefully for other as well.”


Bang The Desk is petitioning the Government to make the following changes to the UK education system:


  1. Remove formal testing for anyone under the age of 18. Informal, stress free assessments in class are a more than satisfactory method for establishing how well a student is performing.


  1. Increase funding for the arts.


  1. Introduce an hour of wellbeing into the curriculum every day.


  1. Start and end every school day with 10 minutes of mindfulness.


  1. Greater mental health support across all educational institutions. Including mandatory counselling once a month for every student, more if they need it.


  1. Better wages and support for teachers.



We are talking about the mental health of our future generation, and we need to take these small steps to ensuring no more young people feel pushed to breaking point and that no more young people commit suicide or fall into a pit of despair as a result of stress.


Bang The Desk. Change The Curriculum.


Join the movement.

Sign the petition.

Save young minds.



Please visit www.bangthedesk.com for more information and to sign the petition.





email: emily@bangthedesk.com

instagram: @bangthedesk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bangthedesk