Government push for better mental health support in schools

Mental health efforts in schools will be redoubled to reflect the growing issue of mental illness among young people, according to a new Government initiative.

Under new guidelines, one in four schools will have mental health provisions by 2022, with waiting times for specialist support cut down to four weeks.

Mental ill-health among young people is nearing an epidemic. The latest figures suggest that around one in 10 girls aged 16 or 17 were referred to mental health services in the last year. But 70 per cent of young people who experience a mental health problem do not get help from an early age.

The Government initiative will focus on training for senior mental health workers in schools, education surrounding mental health and how to find support, and mental health teaching as part of student’s core syllabus.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Around half of all mental illness starts before the age of 14, so it is vital children get support as soon as they need it – in the classroom.

“If we catch mental ill health early we can treat it and stop it turning into something more serious.”