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Govt unveils plans for school mental health support

24/11/2014 Joanna
Plans to improve support for children with mental health issues have been set out by childcare education minister Sam Gyimah.

The new proposals are intended to ensure the one in ten youngsters who suffer from such problems receive support when they need it.

Working in partnership with the Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) Association, the government will provide assistance for those in teaching jobs that will enable them to teach about mental health issues and banish the stigma associated with the subject.

A blueprint will also be issued to schools for them to use when delivering their counselling services, with young people and experts being consulted to ensure the advice meets the needs of the people it is intended to support.

Earlier this year, the government provided advice for schools to assist them with the identification of pupils whose behaviour could be a manifestation of underlying mental health problems, to help prevent them being wrongly named as trouble makers.

The coalition's Voluntary and Community Sector grants programme has invited voluntary organisations to bid for a share of £25 million for projects focused on improving young people’s mental health in schools.

In addition, the organisation, commissioning and provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is currently being reformed to make it easier for young people to access help if they need it.

Childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah said that although some institutions are providing excellent support, more needs to be done in this area.

"Developing young peoples' character can sometimes be seen as being separate from academic attainment, but mental health problems can be a real barrier to achievement and they can certainly be approached and achieved together," he added.

Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place2Be, a national children's charity providing counselling for children in schools, welcomed the Department for Education's "renewed commitment to children’s mental health in school and the vital role of early intervention".

She added that sustained, long-term investment in this area would prevent the emergence of wider social problems in the future.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801761867-ADNFCR
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