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Seven things schools can expect from the mental health green paper

Pippa Allen-Kinross
December 3, 2017

The government will announce proposals for extra funding for mental health support in schools in a green paper due to be released on Monday.

These are the policies that will be announced…

1. More than £300m funding

The government is proposing to commit £310 million in new funding to supporting mental health in young people, with a large chunk being spent in schools.

2. Senior mental health leads

£95 million of the funding will train “senior mental health leads” to work in schools from 2019. These people will be responsible for developing a “whole-school approach” to mental health and wellbeing.

Their roles will also include pastoral support and ensuring strong policies are in place for dealing with issues including bullying.

3. Mental health support teams

The remaining £215 million will pay for new support teams. These will be expected to improve the link between schools and local health services.

The teams will also work to improve early intervention on mental health , by providing a range of support and treatments in or near schools and colleges.

The government hopes to recruit “several thousand people” over the next five years to fill the teams, which will be supervised by clinicians.

4. Mental health discussions and CBT in classrooms

Pupils will be taught about mental health and wellbeing in classrooms through the new relationships education and PHSE curriculum.

Mental health support teams will also be trained to offer “evidence-based treatments” in the classroom, including cognitive behaviour therapy.

5. New research

New research will be commissioned to fill “evidence gaps” across children’s mental health, including a focus on how best to support vulnerable families.

There will also be a new working group to look at mental health support for 16- to 25-year-olds.

6. Quicker access to health services for pupils

A pilot scheme will attempt to cap the waiting time for child and adolescent mental health services at four weeks.

7. Training for teachers

Mental health awareness training for teachers will be offered to every primary and secondary school in the country.

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  • Michael Boase says:

    The PHSE curriculum in all educational establishments has been pressurised for many years now virtually eliminating any provision for Mental Health and Wellbeing. The teaching of subjects such as EQ Emotional Intelligence (a globally recognised benefit based system), Mindfulness, Meditation, etc., (all of which are more beneficial) should be highlighted and given more prevalence within PHSE rather than just focussing on CBT (which does not fit with everyone). Teacher training does take account of these subject particularly (EQ). In my personal AND professional opinion, the aforementioned subjects are more relevant for Mental Health coping strategies with greater bias on overall Wellbeing for young people than simple CBT techniques.