Schools in 25 English areas will be the first to receive help from new mental health support teams.
The Department for Education and Department of Health have named the “trailblazer” areas for the new teams, which will work with around 8,000 children and up to 20 schools each from late 2019.
It comes after the first comprehensive government data on child and adolescent mental health in 14 years revealed that the proportion of five to 15-year-olds with some kind of mental disorder increased from 9.7 per cent in 1999 to 11.2 per cent last year.
In December, the two departments announced plans for more than £300 million of extra mental health support for young people, including a £95 million scheme to put “senior mental health leads” in schools and £215 million for the mental health support teams, which will work between schools and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and offer support and treatments in schools, including cognitive behaviour therapy.
The government announced in July that the teams will start working with schools “by the end of 2019”, but has come under-fire for the longer-term timeframe for the scheme, after it was confirmed that it will reach a maximum of 25 per cent of the population by 2023.
Ministers say each of the teams, which will be established within local clinical commissioning groups, will support up to 8,000 children and young people and be responsible for up to 20 schools and colleges.
“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,” said education secretary Damian Hinds.
“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.”
Plans for further expansion of children and young people’s mental health services will be set out in the government’s long-term plan for the NHS.
The 25 trailblazers
North Kirklees CCG and Greater Huddersfield CCG
Doncaster CCG and Rotherham CCG
Newcastle Gateshead CCG
South Tyneside CCG
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
Midlands and East
Herts Valley CCG and East and North Hertfordshire CCG
Stoke on Trent CCG
Nottingham North East CCG and Rushcliffe CCG
South Warwickshire CCG
North Staffordshire CCG
North Kent CCG Grouping: Swale CCG and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG
Berkshire West CCG
SW London HCP – Wandsworth, Sutton and Merton CCGs
Tower Hamlets CCG
West London CCG