It was announced this week that Mid Sussex will be among the second wave of trailblazer areas to benefit from Mental Health support teams. These will work with schools and colleges to provide a link with young people’s mental health services, ensuring more pupils get the help and support they need, when they need it. Local schools and colleges will also get priority access next year to mental health training.
The mental health training announced this week is backed by £9.3 million and will be provided through workshops which bring together school and college staff and NHS professionals. It will raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed. All schools will have access to training over the next four years.
The announcement is part of the Government’s wider programme to support young people’s mental health, which includes an additional £1.4 billion investment and the introduction of compulsory health education lessons from 2020.
Sir Nicholas said; “Bringing school and college staff into the same room as NHS professionals, and encouraging them to work together, will ensure more pupils get the right support at the right time. With half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders beginning by the age of 14, bridging the gap between education and NHS services is vital if we are to ensure all children get the best possible start in life.”
- Every school, college and alternative provider will be offered mental health training as part of the Link Programme. Roll out will begin in September and all schools will be offered training within four years (DfE, 12 July 2019, link).
- Training will be prioritised in areas where schools and colleges are already attached to Mental Health Support Teams. Mental Health Support teams, announced in the Government’s mental health Green Paper, work with schools to give children and young people earlier access to services. 25 trailblazer areas were announced in December. A further 48 have been announced this week. (DfE, 12 July 2019, link).
- The Government is providing an additional £1.4 billion up to 2020-21 to improve access to mental health services for children and young people. On top of this, it is investing an additional £300 million over the next three years to deliver the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper (Hansard, WQ125663, 7 February 2018, link; Hansard, WQ170687, 10 September 2018, link).
- Starting in 2019, the Government will publish a ‘State of the Nation’ report every year on World Mental Health Day, highlighting the trends and issues in young people’s mental well-being. This is the first time that children’s mental health will be reported in this way, alongside their physical health and academic attainment (PMO, 9 October 2018, link).
- From 2020, pupils will receive mandatory health education lessons. This will ensure pupils are taught about the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, what determines their physical health and how to build mental resilience and wellbeing. It will also make sure children and young people learn how to recognise when they and others are struggling with mental health and how to respond (DfE, 19 July 2018, link).