Today the Government have announced a £79 million boost to mental health services for children and young people - ensuring that mental health support is available for those who need it.
This has been an exceptionally difficult year, especially for our children and young people, and we know it is having a real impact on their mental health.
This additional funding will help ensure that nearly three million children in England can access this vital support when and where they need it – by creating hundreds more mental health support teams in schools and colleges. This boost will also mean children who need to, can access services in the community as well as providing this early intervention support in schools.
The number of mental health support teams in schools and colleges will grow from 59 to 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly 3 million children. Mental health support teams work in a variety of ways, including enabling children to text their local mental health support team, with a health professional responding within an hour during the school day offering them advice, or providing families with tips on how to spot that the children and young people are struggling with their mental health.
The teams also help staff within schools and colleges to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing through training sessions for parents or workshops for teachers.
Access to community mental health services will also be expanded, giving 22,500 more children and young people access to help and support by 2021 to 2022 – including talking therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy. This accelerates the commitment to expand services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which will see an additional 345,000 more children and young people access mental health services by 2024.
Eating disorder services for conditions like anorexia and bulimia will also be accessible to an additional 2,000 children and young people in the community. This follows NHS England’s plans to expand rapid access to specialist NHS treatment for young people with eating disorders across England, aiming to contact patients within 48 hours and beginning treatment as soon as 2 weeks later.
The Government are committed to supporting everyone’s mental health and wellbeing, responding to the long-term impact this pandemic has had on people’s mental health and doing everything we can to ensure young people who need help, get help.
For more information on the increased funding to boost mental health support for children and young people, including comments from the Health and Social Care Secretary and the NHS Mental Health Director, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/79-million-to-boost-mental-health-support-for-children-and-young-people.