Prime Minister Theresa May has announced new support for all secondary schools in the country to better support pupils affected by mental ill-health.
The support includes free mental health first aid training for school staff and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff.
The Prime Minister has also asked the Care Quality Commission to lead a “major thematic review” of children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across the country. This will identify what is working and what isn’t and will produce a new green paper on children and young people’s mental health which will “set out plans to transform services in schools, universities and for families”.
Ms May said it was part of the Government’s “determination to build a shared society based on the values of citizenship, responsibility and fairness, backed by a government which takes an active role in helping those who feel they have been ignored for too long.” You can read the full statement here.
- The first meeting of Healthy MindED – the school-led commission into the mental health of pupils organised by SCHOOLS NorthEast – will be held on Monday, January 23. Further details to follow in next week’s newsletter.
ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe, commented on the Government announcement saying: “We look forward to seeing the detailed plans for mental health first aid training and what funding is being allocated to this initiative. While some element of mental health training may be helpful in schools, this is a highly complex area and the biggest problem that schools face is accessing the local specialist NHS services that some children desperately need. Many schools already provide their own support on-site, and do a very good job despite limited resources, but they often face serious difficulties in referring young people to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. There is simply not enough provision – and families face excessively long waiting times. Local mental health services are a vital lifeline for young people who need specialist help. The government’s plans have to be backed up with the funding needed to better support the provision of mental health services both in and outside school.”