Close to half a million children and young people are set to benefit from new mental health support teams, the secretary of state for health and social care has announced.
Starting next year, new Mental Health Support Teams will be available to a population of more than 470,000 children and young people in 25 different areas.
The teams will be based in and near schools and colleges, and will support up to 8,000 children and young people and will be responsible for a cluster of around 20 schools and colleges each.
‘Children and young people with mental illness should receive the same level of support as those with physical illness,’ said secretary of state Matt Hancock.
‘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.’
Education secretary Damian Hinds commented: ‘Children today experience pressures that we as adults often find hard to appreciate, or possibly even understand.
‘We are much more aware of mental health in the education sector now than in decades gone by and rightly so, and teachers are often able to recognise the early warning signs of changes in their pupils’ behaviour or mood, but they are not mental health professionals.
‘That’s why through these new support teams working with schools, we will speed up access to specialist services and make expert advice available to those who need it the most.’