Samia Haque--3 December 2017: Children and teenagers in England will be able to access mental health support at school or college under a £300m overhaul of mental health services for young people, due to be announced next week.
The proposals include introducing a four-week waiting time for youngsters needing specialist support and new mental health support teams in schools.It is hoped around one in four schools in England will have this provision in place by 2022. Campaigners say the measures are welcome but long overdue.
The issue of young people's mental health has long been of concern, with parents, charities and healthcare professionals warning that families are not getting the support they need. According to new NHS figures, around one in 10 girls aged 16 or 17 were referred to specialist mental health services in England last year.
The government's new green paper proposes are:
• Training for senior designated mental health leads in schools to improve prevention work.
• Earlier access to services through the creation of new mental health support teams working in and directly with schools.
• A new four-week waiting time for NHS children and young people's mental health services.
• Every primary and secondary school in England to be offered mental health awareness training.
• All pupils to be taught about mental health and wellbeing as part of improved relationships education and PSHE [personal, social, health and economic] lessons.
Dr. Dominique Thompson, a GP with a special interest in mental health said, “I think this green paper is a good step in the right direction, acknowledging the increasing mental health issues being seen in the young population,”
The green paper will be published on Monday and will be followed by a 12-week consultation period.