UK schools to receive mental health support from NHS

The government has released details of a plan to better support pupils across the UK suffering from mental health issues

The UK government has revealed a plan to work with schools and colleges to make expert mental health support available to pupils across England.

The new mental health support teams will be based in and near schools and colleges in 25 areas and will start offering support in 2019.

Each designated team will support up to 8,000 children and young people in around 20 schools and colleges in their area.

The teams will build on the support already in place from school counsellors and nurses, support young people with all manner of mental health issues and those with severe needs to access the right support.

The Department for Education will also fund training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges to ensure a ‘whole school’ approach to mental health and wellbeing.

The first mental health support teams will begin their training in January 2019 at seven universities nationwide.

Secretary of state for health and social care, Matt Hancock, said: “Children and young people with mental illness should receive the same level of support as those with physical illness.

“Made possible by the extra £20.5bn we are investing in the NHS, today’s announcement will see the health and education systems come together so our children can access the help they need at school, and takes us a step closer to achieving our goal of parity between mental and physical health.”

Minister for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention, Jackie Doyle-Price, added:

“Early intervention is crucial when it comes to mental ill-health and today’s announcement will ensure that young people can immediately access life-changing support when the signs of mental health issues first appear, helping to prevent these problems from escalating further into adulthood.

“Encouraging young people to think about their mental wellbeing in the same way they do their physical aches and pains is a vital part of our goal to put mental and physical health on equal footing, and will help ensure no young person is left to suffer in silence.

“It’s estimated one in four of us has a common mental disorder at any one time – I’m confident that, by introducing improved access to critical care at a young age, we are delivering on our promise to help people lead healthier lives for longer and build an NHS that’s fit for the future, which will be set out further in our long-term plan.”

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