It has been highlighted as a widespread issue that needs attention for a while now, but little action has followed. Children suffering from mental health issues including anxiety and depression need to be supported through their school to help address the issues before they escalate. The Government has now outlined their plan to address mental health in schools and issued a green paper for consultation this month.
Their approach includes offering counselling, sessions with therapists and having someone in school who is appointed as the dedicated coordinator. This designated lead will be offered training using the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. They will:
• oversee the help that the school gives to pupils with mental health problems
• help staff to spot pupils who show signs of mental health problems
• offer advice to staff about mental health
• refer children to specialist services if they need to
The paper aims to provide a new guaranteed maximum waiting time for support through the NHS (camhs) after concerns were raised over waiting times. The Government are pledging to provide £300m in new funding to support the paper, a large majority of which will go towards creating mental health support teams for schools with access to wellness practitioners and therapists.
The government is now asking people for their views on the green paper. The full paper can be accessed here. The Consultation runs until 2 March 2018 and can be accessed here. Approved actions are then expected to roll out but not hit all schools until 2020.
If you need any help with providing counselling services for pupils or staff please get in touch. We have a range of wellbeing services that can support you, including counselling, CBT, NLP, Occupational Health and mediation. Call 01924 827869.