60 schools to benefit
from £3 million investment in mental health
EDUCATION Secretary Nicky Morgan
has joined forces with NHS England to launch a multimillion pound joint
mental health pilot scheme for hundreds of schools, including 60 in the
The Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilots will test a named single
point of contact in 255 schools and in 22 pilot areas, meaning more joined
up working between schools and health services. This has been backed by £3m
of government funding.
It will mean children and young people have better access to local,
specialist mental health provision, and that support is consistent across
Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said:-
"Mental health is a key
priority for this government and for me personally. The development of
character, resilience and good mental health is vital alongside academic
success in equipping young people with the skills needed to fulfil their
potential. That's why I'm delighted to see these schools in the North West
engaging in joined up approaches with mental health services to ensure that
children, parents and teachers know where to turn and how to access the best
support for young people with mental health concerns."
Funded jointly by the Department for Education and NHS England, each of 27
Clinical Commissioning Groups are working with at least 10 schools to trial
this new way of working with a named lead across services.
These were chosen from more than 80 applications to receive a boost of up to
£85,000 per area.
The single point of contact in the schools will be responsible for
developing closer relationships with a counterpart in local NHS CAMHS
services to improve knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, and
to help ensure any referrals are timely and appropriate.
They will be supported in the work through a series of training days. The
work will be evaluated nationally to understand the impact of joint working.
Dr Jackie Cornish, National Clinical Director for Children and Young People
at NHS England, said:- "This is an opportunity for CCGs and schools to
work together more closely, trial a new way of thinking and a new model. Our
aim is to significantly improve the care and experience we can offer to
children and young people with mental health problems. We know that if we
can help young people effectively at the earliest possible age we can gain
the best possible outcome for them in the long run and that is why we are
focusing our attention to improve joint working with schools."
This investment is building on a £1.4 billion government investment in
children and young people's mental health over the next 5 years. This is a
key government priority, as part of the drive to put mental health on an
equal footing with physical health.
The pilot is part of the vision set out in the Future in Mind report, which
made a number of proposals on how mental health services could be improved,
including for children and young people.
Minister for Mental Health, Alistair Burt said:- "When a young person
is brave enough to ask for help from their school or doctor, we should never
let them fall through the gap because services aren't in touch with each
other. That is why this initiative is so important. Children and young
people's mental health is one of my personal priorities and these pilots are
part of the biggest transformation to young people's mental health that the
sector has seen."