A new Government green paper offers good news for those calling for joined up care between schools and local mental health services for children and young people.
For the first time the Government is formally recognising, and backing the role of schools as a platform for mental health services, encouraging education and the NHS to work together to offer a “whole-school approach” to mental health and well-being.
Professor Peter Fonagy, CLAHRC mental health lead and head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, led a systematic review of the literature and influenced policy makers to secure this step-change in how mental health services are provided for young people in education.
Professor Fonagy commented: “Applied health research data was key in persuading ministers and civil servants that paraprofessionals working in education settings could bring about a step change in increasing access to evidence based mental health interventions and providing therapies early when they are most likely to be effective and to prevent more severe problems in the lives of children and young people.”
The Departments of Education and Health are now seeking stakeholders’ views.
The government has published proposals, backed by £300 million of funding to improve mental health support for children and young people in England.
Planned measures out for consultation until March 2 2018 include
– encouraging every school and college to have a ‘designated senior mental health lead’
– setting up mental health support teams working with schools, to give children and young people earlier access to services
– piloting a 4-week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services
– a new working group to look at mental health support for 16 to 25-year-olds
– a report by the Chief Medical Officer on the impact that technology has on children and young people’s mental health, to be produced in 2018
A quick summary gives the headline proposals.
The full green paper can be read here.
The short film below outlines the proposed changes.