Between December 2017 and March 2018 the Department for Education and the Department of Health & Social Care held a public consultation on ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’. The consultation received 2,700 responses and on 25th July 2018 the DfE published a green paper focusing on earlier intervention and prevention in schools.
Summary of plans for schools and the NHS
A mental health lead in every school by 2025. The designated lead will be a trained member of school staff who is responsible for the school’s approach to mental health including:
- overseeing the help the school gives pupils with mental health problems
- help staff to sport pupils who show signs of mental health problems and refer children to specialists if needed
- offer advice to staff about mental health
Mental health support teams to provide a direct link between schools and the NHS. Support teams will be made up of trained staff linked to a group of schools, working with mental health leads, to offer help to children with mild to moderate mental health issues – such as anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties.
Shorter waiting times for children to receive treatment from mental health services. The government wants to introduce a new 4-week waiting time, which will be piloted in some areas.
The government is also planning to improve understanding of mental health by:
- exploring how the internet and social media affects children’s health
- researching how to support families and creating parenting programmes
- researching how to prevent mental health problems by working with mental health experts