Mental Health Education in Schools — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:51 pm on 6th November 2017.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 6:51 pm, 6th November 2017

My right hon. Friend raises a very important issue, details of which will be set out in the Green Paper that will be published shortly. The purpose of the various pilots is to ensure that we have an evidence base, so that interventions that we make in the future are effective and deliver what we all want, which is a generation of young people who are secure in their mental health and able to identify and deal with mental health issues as they arise.

I was talking about mental health spending, which has been increased to record levels by this Government, with 2016-17 seeing a record £11.4 billion being spent, with a further £1 billion planned by 2020-21. That clearly highlights the importance that the Government place on mental health and wellbeing in this country.

Crucially, we can see that mental health is already a key priority for schools themselves. The commitment that we have made to making relationships education and RSE compulsory in all schools, and to considering the case for doing the same for PSHE, will further ensure that pupil wellbeing is supported in our schools. That sits alongside the wide range of other activity to support schools that I have set out today, and I hope that reassures right hon. and hon. Members of the Government’s absolute commitment to this vital agenda for children and young people.