The Department of Health and the Department of Education have published the Green Paper: Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health Provision. The paper commits to spending an additional £1.4bn for children and young people’s mental health, with the recruitment of 1,700 more therapists and supervisors and the training of 3,400 staff already working in health services. The Government commits to ensuring that 70,000 additional children and young people have access to mental health services by 2020/21, which includes an additional £30m investment for services treating young people with eating disorders. In addition to this, the paper states:
- The Government wants all state-funded schools in England to have a member of staff who is a “designated lead” for mental health, by 2025;
- This member of staff will be responsible for the school’s approach to mental health issues, oversee the help the school provides to its pupils, and will receive training to this end;
- They will give advice to other members of staff about how to support the mental health of the schools’ pupils;
- “Designated leads” will have the capacity to refer pupils to “specialist services”.
Mental health support teams
- The establishment of mental health support teams to work with schools and colleges who “will work alongside other people who provide mental health support including: school nurses; educational psychologists; school counsellors; voluntary and community organisations and; social workers”;
- These teams will offer support to young people with “mild to moderate mental health conditions” ;
- This includes anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties;
- These teams will have the capacity to refer pupils for further specialist treatment;
- The Government describes these groups as “the link between NHS services and schools and colleges”;
- As of 2019, a pilot scheme will be rolled out in England, “to try out different ways of working”;
- In the areas that the scheme is piloted, the Government will seek to reduce the waiting time for mental health support to four weeks, and quicker for young people who need “very urgent help”.
Mental Health Awareness
- The Government will seek to train a member of staff in each school to “sport signs of mental health issues in children”, alongside the “designated lead” role;
- Seek to teach children and young people about mental health through the school curriculum;
- Training for 1m people in basic mental health awareness, commencing in 2018;
- This will train people how to look after their own mental health, and how best to help other people;
- A new mental health awareness course will be included as part of the National Citizen Service programme for 15 to 17 year olds.
Preventing mental health problems
- A new working group to look at mental health support for 16 to 25 year olds;
- A new study on the effect of social media on mental health;
- A new “national partnership” to help young people (16-25) with mental health, “in further and higher education, training and work”.
The Government is running a consultation on the green paper for 13 weeks, until 2 March 2018.
The green paper can be accessed in full here and the questions for the consultation here.
Further information will be sent to members very soon on how you can inform the AEP’s submission to the consultation but please do share with colleagues and discuss the paper and its recommendations, particularly with regard to the role and influence of educational psychologists within promoting good mental health for all CYP.