Mental Health Support: Secondary Schools

Education – in the House of Commons at on 29 January 2024.

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Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour/Co-operative, Brighton, Kemptown

What steps her Department is taking to increase the availability of mental health support in secondary schools.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are rolling out mental health support teams to schools and colleges, supporting young people to access early intervention for mental health. As my right hon. Friend the Minister for Schools said, as of March 2023 there were 398 teams covering 47% of secondary school pupils. That will increase to around 600 teams by spring 2025.

Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour/Co-operative, Brighton, Kemptown

When I was a young person, we had a counsellor in our school. It helped many people, not for the long term but through short-term interventions that put people on the right track and meant that they did not need more expensive interventions down the line. Unfortunately, those counsellors have gone in many schools. Labour will reintroduce them. Will the Minister commit to reintroducing a counsellor in every school to ensure that we spend now to save later?

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Counsellors have a role, but we believe that a combination of rolling out mental health support teams and giving every state school and college in the country a grant to train a senior mental health lead is a better approach to take.